For many, maybe most people, table standing is good enough to tell most of the story of a club’s quality.
Pep Guardiola doesn’t exactly feel that way, at least when it comes to Manchester City’s standing amongst its Premier League peers.
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The City boss believes his side was a much better side than its current status insists, and would prefer that having a “final” on the last day of the season that was about silverware rather than the Top Four.
“We didn’t fight until the end because two teams were better. We dropped too many points at home. We will have to improve that.
“It is a crucial game for us, absolutely a final. It is in our hands. Just look what we have to do – win the game. We travel to London for that. Every game is a pressure, every game we play for everything.”
City only lost once at home in league play, to Chelsea, but drew Manchester United, Liverpool, Stoke City, Tottenham, Middlesbrough, Everton, and Southampton. Turning one of those into a win would’ve made Sunday a non-factor. Beating Spurs and Chelsea would’ve made the title race a lot more interesting.
Does that mean City is better than it performed, and doesn’t some of that come down to the manager? Sure, though having Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus for the whole year might’ve been enough for Guardiola to march up the board. A second summer transfer window is going to help a lot, too, but perhaps City in third is plenty fitting.