Pep Guardiola insists Bournemouth are best team Manchester City have played this season in dig at Manchester United

PEP GUARDIOLA rubbed salt into the wound of Manchester United after victory on Saturday.

The Spaniard had just wiped the floor with Bournemouth with dazzling football and four goals.

manager Jose Mourinho and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola
Friends reunited…but Pep Guardiola reckons Bournemouth are better than ace rival Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United
Raheem Sterling
City stuffed Bournemouth but Guardiola was impressed with south coast outfit
Getty Images

It was a performance that would strike fear into his Premier League title rivals, with the goals coming from Kevin De Bruyne, Kelechi Iheanacho, Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan.

But Pep still insisted that Eddie Howe’s side were the BEST team Manchester City faced this season – just one week after the derby win over rivals United.

He said: “Bournemouth were the best team we have played until now, they could create more problems when they had the ball than other teams who played long balls.

“They wanted to play and our high pressing in the first half was not perfect.

“We did well and could use a lot of counter-attacks, and after that the quality of our play from strikers and midfielders made the difference.

“I am very pleased as I know very well about the team we were playing against. Josh King is a tough tough striker and their wingers and full-backs are so fast, especially Adam Smith.

“But we played seriously, like a small team when we didn’t have the ball.

"People are so proud when these famous people are running so hard without the ball. With the ball, the quality of the players made the difference.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola
Guardiola: "Bournemouth are the best team we have played"

"Bournemouth are the best team we have played in our five matches, so I am very pleased.”

Guardiola says playing like a “small” team and tracking back without the ball is the key to his team being able to play well.

He said: "It all starts with a humble attitude to try to win the ball back like the smallest teams in the world.”

And it meant an eighth straight win for Guardiola, the best ever start City have had to a season.

Guardiola said: “Numbers are numbers and one record will be beaten by another. It is important that we won a game after a Champions League game with three days preparation instead of four.

“When you play a European game it is so demanding physically and mentally, to come back again is not easy.

"I have to say that I am so happy. But I know that in the future I am going to lose games.

"We have played five games in the Premier League and people are saying nice things, but I know what happens when you don't win and you get criticism.

"I know we are going to lose games - and that will definitely happen.

"I don't read social media because I know what people say doesn't matter.”

Guardiola insists there will be no complacency in his squad despite the performances this season.

He said: "We will not think it is easy - because I am here.

"I have heard for a long time that the Premier League is the toughest, so we know that it is September and we have won nothing.

"I'm not going to accept that it is easy because we work had to play this well.

"We will lose games and we will make mistakes, but this is a process."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola grabs the arm
Guardiola grabs the arm of referee Jonathan Moss after Nolito's red card
PA:Press Association
Manchester City wipe the floor with The Cherries...but boss still thinks they're better than Manchester United
United grapples with Ferandinho during his first start for Bournemouth

De Bruyne opened the scoring with a free-kick that went under the wall, before Iheanacho and Sterling tapped in sweeping moves.

Gundogan netted on his first Premier League started after De Bruyne threaded the ball through for him.

Eddie Howe said: “It was a difficult day. Our plan wasn't to sit as deep as we did first half but we ended up getting trapped with nowhere to go.

“I thought they pressed us really well, they were very good with the ball – but that goes without saying. Fair play to them. They were better than us.

“But I don't really look at the result, I look at the performance and overall I was disappointed. I feel we can do better than that.”

Jack Wilshere was also given his first start, and Howe added: “It was difficult for Jack today. We want to see Jack in their half and in the final third but we didn't get there enough.

“So to see his best qualities was impossible today, but the minutes will have done him the world of good. Once he fully understands how we play and what we want him to do I think he will be an excellent player for us.”

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