Football

Pep: Talk of unbeaten season is ridiculous

But Arsenal Invincible Keown believes City can emulate his former side

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has said it is "ridiculous" to suggest that the Premier League leaders can emulate Arsenal's Invincibles of 2003/04 and go through the season unbeaten.

Free-scoring City moved five points clear at the top of the table as Sergio Aguero's landmark 177th strike for the club helped them to a 3-0 win over Burnley at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Guardiola's side are the only undefeated team left in the league after their club record-equalling 11th consecutive win in all competitions, but the Spaniard is not getting carried away with talk of going the distance without a loss.

He said: "To finish unbeatable, that is not going to happen because we are in a lot of games and a lot of competitions are so demanding, more than ever.

"To win with this kind of record sounds ridiculous.

"There will be a moment when we are going down.

"In that moment, I am curious and I will test myself as a manager with the players and see how we are going to react.

"I know people like a lot the statistics and to compare one to another one with titles, and I am happy for the 11 wins in a row because we showed that we can win a lot of games in a row.

"But that's all."

Arsenal's 2003/04 team ended the Premier League campaign as champions with 26 wins and 12 draws.

A member of that team, Martin Keown, believes the Citizens have the calibre to be the "next Invincibles".

In his column in the Daily Mail, the former England defender wrote: "Manchester City have the greatest chance of emulating Arsenal's Invincibles of 2003/04.

"They are wiping the floor with the rest of the Premier League, but Pep Guardiola's quest for greatness in Europe could prevent City from matching our feat.

"City are certainly developing an invincible aura. They are winning matches in the tunnel...

"I experienced that same feeling in the tunnel as part of the Arsenal teams in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Your opponents are in awe of you, while you feel that anything is possible...

"They have the calibre to become the next Invincibles, but there is still a long race to be run."

Next up for City in that long race is Wolverhampton Wanderers in the League Cup tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

Wealthy Wolves are seen by some as the Man City of England's second tier, having broken the league's transfer record for Ruben Neves when they signed the Portuguese midfielder from Porto for £15.8m (S$28.4m) in July.

Championship joint-top scorer with seven goals Leo Bonatini insists his team are not afraid of City.

He told the Express & Star: "It doesn't matter who we play against... We don't need to be scared of them. It's just football, it's 11 against 11, we know what we can do." - WIRE SERVICES

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