(Reuters) – Manchester City have raised Premier League standards and any team looking to beat them to the title next season will have to target 100 points, manager Pep Guardiola has said.
City were the first team to win the Premier League title with a record 100 points last season and would finish with 98 this season if they win their three remaining games.
Title contenders Liverpool will finish with 97 if they win their two remaining matches, a tally that would have been enough to win the title in any other Premier League season apart from the 2017-18 campaign.
“The standards we created last year at Manchester City, people know that you have to be close to 100 (to win the league),” Guardiola told reporters. “Before it was 90.
“This standard was last season, we helped Liverpool to achieve it and Liverpool helped us to keep going (this season). It is thanks to Liverpool that we are competing.
“Liverpool know that to win you have to make a lot of points. That’s what we communicate to anyone.”
Guardiola never reached 100 points with former teams Barcelona or Bayern Munich. Last season, City suffered only two defeats to win the league title by 19 points over second-placed Manchester United.
“One hundred points in a season — if you want to compete, you have to do that,” Guardiola added.
“When Usain Bolt runs the 100 metre race, that’s the standard and the others have to achieve it. It’s like Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, that’s the same.”
City play Burnley away on Sunday followed by Leicester City at home next weekend before finishing the season with a trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on May 12. Of the three, City lost the reverse fixture at Leicester in December.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)