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Thursday 17 August 2017

Pep: 'Only Chelsea can lose title now'

Gabriel Jesus
Gabriel Jesus

Pep Guardiola maintains the title is beyond Manchester City this season - but says the future is bright after Gabriel Jesus sparkled against West Ham.

Teenage striker Jesus formed part of a youthful three-pronged attack with Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling at the London Stadium.

And with Sergio Aguero watching from the bench, the exciting trio tore the Hammers apart as City ran out comfortable 4-0 winners.

Jesus marked a dazzling display by setting up Kevin De Bruyne's opener and then bagging one himself. "It was a good impact for a first appearance," said City boss Guardiola ahead of Sunday's clash with Swansea. "You never know. It's like a water melon. You have to open and see it. The prospect was good, a young player with good talent.

"But he's had a good talent, he's so aggressive. He wants to be a good player, and that helps a lot. He has dreams about what he wants to do in his future career. He wants to become something in world football, and we're going to try and get it for us.

"These guys are the future of the club. In Europe no one has strikers as young as Manchester City."

David Silva was also on target in a one-sided first half, while Yaya Toure piled on the misery for the hosts with a penalty - won by Sterling - after the break.

A routine victory boosted City's top-four challenge after Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal all dropped points 24 hours earlier - while sixth-placed Manchester United were held on the night. Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was in the stands but Guardiola insists the Blues' 10-point advantage over them is too great to overturn. "He has not to much to worry about. Only Chelsea can lose the Premier League," added the Spaniard.

"Can we put pressure on them? I don't think so. We are not in a position to think about the big goals, 10 points is too much."

Alongside Aguero among the substitutes was error-prone goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, dropped after a remarkable run of letting in each of the last six shots on target he has faced.

Yet Guardiola insisted he did not regret that move, although he added: "I have to make decisions and sometimes I make mistakes."

Guardiola did not close the door for a return to the side for Bravo, however.

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