Despite his team running out comfortable 3-0 winners away against a demoralised Arsenal side Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said his team played better in last week’s loss in the Manchester derby.
City cruised to a 3-0 lead in the first half with a marvellous Kevin De Bruyne brace sandwiching a Raheem Sterling goal, which the Belgian set up. Although they couldn’t extend their lead, the Gunners didn’t trouble them.
City went down to a 2-1 defeat at home to their local rivals last week, a result that probably ruled them out of contention for a third straight title, but their Catalan coach insisted he was happier with that display.
- Mohamed Daramy: Ajax's new €12m teenager who idolises Rashford
- 'Really special' Curtis Jones ready to save Liverpool's injury-ravaged midfield
- Will Neymar and Mbappe subplot undermine PSG's Champions League challenge?
- What can Man City and PSG learn from one another in pursuit of elusive Champions League glory?
"We made an incredible result but the way we played against Manchester United was better in many, many things,” the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss told the BBC.
“I know we are judged on the result but I have a duty to judge the performance, not just the result."
De Bruyne had not scored multiple goals in a Premier League game before his trip to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
He was modest in describing a pair of strikes that will live long in the memory of those lucky enough to see them.
"I tried to keep composed and not lean too much backwards,” he told Sky Sports about his first goal. “It was just low enough to put it under the bar.
"The second goal is a little similar, the keeper doesn't really see the ball and it gives him less reaction time."
The playmaker could have scored a hat trick but was denied by a great save by Arsenal ‘keeper Bernd Leno.
"It would have been nice but to score two goals and come away with a good win with the struggles we had a little bit is nice,” he added.
"I think every time you lose a game the only reaction you can show is to win the next one. Every time we lose points we come back with a good reaction.
“We know we have not been at our best this year but we keep on fighting and there's still a lot of games to play for us."