'Man City weren't good enough to win the title' - Consistency key to catching Liverpool, says Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez Man City 2020-21
Getty Images
The Algerian insists Pep Guardiola's side are well aware of the improvements they need to make in 2020-21 after being dethroned by the Reds

Manchester City "weren't good enough" to win the Premier League last season, according to Riyad Mahrez, who says consistency will be key for the Blues to close the gap on Liverpool this time around.

City's dominance of English football under Pep Guardiola was brought to an end in comprehensive fashion by Liverpool in 2019-20.

The Manchester outfit had stormed to back-to-back titles under the Spanish boss following his underwhelming introductory year to English football, breaking numerous records for points and goals along the way.

However, Liverpool picked up 27 wins from their first 29 fixtures last season to all but wrap up their first league crown in 30 years, and were eventually crowned champions with a record-breaking seven games left to spare.

City ultimately finished 18 points behind the Reds with nine losses to their name, and a season which had initially promised so much ended with only the scant consolation of a third successive Carabao Cup triumph.

Mahrez, whose return to training was delayed by a positive Covid-19 test, has now admitted that a collective drop in standards led to the Blues' failure, but he is confident that they will be able to mount a far stronger challenge this term.

“I think the Premier League is the best league in the world for me,” the 29-year-old told the Press Association .

“Obviously I didn’t play in all the leagues, but I love it. Two hundred games is an amazing achievement. I obviously want to play 200 or 300 more.

“My time in the Premier League has been very good. I won trophies, I scored some goals, I enjoyed playing in the Premier League, enjoyed home games and away games’ atmospheres, and I hope I will keep going until I retire.

“We weren’t good enough to win it last season, and now we know what we can improve on to try to be there at the end of the year.

“I think we have a very good squad and a very good team. I think it’s all about consistency and focus and we’ll be there at the end.”

City beat Wolves 3-1 away from home on Monday to open their account for the new season, and will be expected to make it two wins from two when they welcome Leicester to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday .

Article continues below

Mahrez won the first of his two Premier League titles while on the Foxes' books but is not sure how they will set up against Guardiola's outfit in Manchester this weekend.

He added on his four-year stint at Leicester and the threat they will pose City: “I look back at an unbelievable moment. Everything we achieved as a group of players and as a club was amazing. I spent so many good moments there.

“I think it’s going to be a tough game. Both teams were good last season and have good players. I don’t know how they’re going to play but it’s going to be a tough game.”