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'They're the best two sides I've faced' - Guardiola says Liverpool even with Barca as he eyes his 'greatest achievement'

01:26 GMT+3 06/05/2019
Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2018-19
City can return to the summit of the Premier League with victory over Leicester City on Monday with just one game remaining

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City defending their Premier League title would be one of the greatest accomplisments in his illustrious managerial career. 

City are at home against Leicester City on Monday knowing that victory would once again return them to the summit and put them one point better off than Liverpool ahead of the final round of fixtures next Sunday. 

A year after becoming the first team in Premier League history to record a century of points, Guardiola’s team are on course for a final tally of 98 points this campaign.

Should they win the league, they will be the first team to defend their domestic title since their cross-city rivals United did so in 2009.

Describing Liverpool as one of the best teams of the past decade, Guardiola said: “Arriving at this stage, two games left with 92 points, after 100 points last season... being there, that is the most satisfaction I've had as a manager,” he said.

"It's not easy, honestly. In my career as a manager, I played against incredible sides. There are two that were 'wow'. One is Barcelona with Luis Enrique, with Neymar, (Lionel) Messi and (Luis) Suarez in front. The other is this Liverpool.

"I think they're the best two sides I've faced as a manager. That's why being here, with it in our hands, fighting against them until the end. One of the biggest achievements.”

In January, Liverpool moved seven points clear of City who, bruised by defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester over the festive period, appeared to have stalled in their quest to defend their crown.

But four draws in six games for Liverpool and 12 consecutive City wins has left City needing just two more wins to guarantee another championship. Such a turnaround has impressed their manager.

He said: “I would not say that 100 points was bad and that we are not satisfied with what we did last season. I'm not going to say that. But at the same time, we were seven points behind this year. You give credit for the titles and how huge our rival is.'

“I didn't expect to get the points we have this season so far after what we did last season. Normally, the tendency for human beings is to relax a little bit.

“But the reason we were seven behind at that moment is because Liverpool were unstoppable.

“The personality is when it goes wrong and how they react in bad moments, how they stand up in the game and after a big defeat. In two seasons, we did it. We react well to knockouts in our faces.”

City have also showed immense character to overcome the pain of exiting the Champions League at the quarter-final stage in dramatic circumstances. 

“At that moment we were so sad, everyone at the club, but we did it (bounced back),” he commented. “That showed me a lot.”