Pep Guardiola is targeting 100 points to cap an “almost perfect season” after champions Manchester City set a hat-trick of Premier League records and home fans said farewell to veteran midfielder Yaya Toure.
City’s 3-1 win against Brighton on Wednesday took them to 97 points and 105 goals for the season as they registered their 31st win of the campaign — all three are new records.
On his final home appearance as a City player, Toure, who is leaving the club at the end of the season after eight years, captained the side.
His name was chanted throughout the contest, there was a huge cheer when he was substituted late on and the crowd also showed their appreciation for the 34-year-old Ivorian during a post-match presentation on the pitch involving his brother and former City team-mate Kolo Toure.
City boss Guardiola said: “97 points, a lot of goals, a lot of wins — that’s a consequence of the season we have done. It’s good.
“Now it’s one more game (away against Southampton on Sunday). We’re going to try for 100 points and finish this almost perfect season in the Premier League.
“It’s fantastic because we did that (break the records) in the day we always will remember — the day for Yaya.”
Guardiola said he agreed with those who argue that City need to win more titles to be considered the equals of the great sides of the past, including Liverpool and Manchester United.
“In the end, we have won one Premier League — three in six years, but in this moment just one. They won a lot of things,” he said.
“But in terms of statistics and numbers, this season we were the best, and that’s why we are so satisfied. Once, a team will arrive and do better than us but they will have to do really good.”
Danilo put City ahead and after Leonardo Ulloa equalised, Bernardo Silva and Fernandinho also got on the scoresheet for City. Leroy Sane provided assists for all three City goals.
Guardiola said City can get “a lot” better, and said of Professional Footballers’ Association Young Player of the Year Sane: “What I like the most with Leroy, seeing his outstanding performance today, was I had the feeling he can do better, and that is the best.”
While Man City are simply chasing records on Sunday, opponents Southampton are still in a fight to save themselves from relegation. Mark Hughes’ side are virtually safe after Tuesday’s 1-0 victory over Swansea, but they will only breathe easy once it is mathematically certain.
© Agence France-Presse (with additional edits from Simon O’Keeffe)