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Guardiola tells how Man City shook off perceived low ebb to break record

Pep Guardiola said he saw Manchester City at one of their lowest levels in the first half of their win over Newcastle United, before explaining how they asserted their dominance in the end.

Man City will be top of the Premier League at Christmas after their 4-0 win over Newcastle. They took the lead early on after Ruben Dias capitalised on a Ciaran Clark mistake. Joao Cancelo made it 2-0 by half-time with a fine finish from outside the box.

Despite being two up by the break, Guardiola was not happy with how his side were performing.

He told Match of the Day: “A good result, not a good performance. We were lucky but Newcastle did not defend well for the first goal and a brilliant action from Joao Cancelo for the second goal.

“The first half was one of the worst we have played this season and second half was much better.

“We played better with the ball, gave players more touches but were losing balls in the first half. We were calm at half-time and spoke about what we should do.”

What followed was more positive for Guardiola, whose side eventually added two more goals from Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling.

But the pick of the bunch had been Cancelo’s drive from out of the area. Guardiola was pleased to see him expressing his qualities.

WHAT A GOAL!! 🤩

João Cancelo doubles #MCFC’s lead with a sensational strike ☄️

📺 Watch #NEWMCI live on Sky Sports PL pic.twitter.com/JtqRGhBVbg

— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 19, 2021

Guardiola said: “It was a fantastic goal. We know the quality he has in the final third and he dribbled and did it.”

Guardiola glad to be breaking records

It was a record-breaking day for City, who earned their 34th win of the calendar year. No side has ever managed that many in one year in English football.

Guardiola reacted: “Records show consistency we have as a team. It is not winning titles or finals but it is winning and winning. Records are there to be broken and happy to have them.”

City can still extend their record, with games against Leicester City and Brentford still to come before 2021 is out.

Next up is Leicester on Boxing Day, a game for which Guardiola will have to weigh up his…

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