Guardiola salutes City's sacrifice as champs subdue Arsenal

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The Gunners appointed Emery early in the summer so he had ample time to prepare, but he was not the Arsenal board's first choice and their primary target, Mikel Arteta, will take his seat on the visitors' bench on Sunday.

A word of warning, though: Those players might have returned refreshed in the short term from a post-World Cup break and mentally perky from their summer success, but it wouldn't be a surprise if some of them break down when autumn turns to winter.

Midfielders Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling are back in contention for Manchester City's Premier League opener at Arsenal. "I'm a trainer", Guardiola said. But I thought we did pretty well and it's a shame we could finish some of the half-chances in the second half. Of course our average level is high, but I have a feeling still we can improve. "The first game away against Arsenal, nobody can deny that it's complicated. But to win the way we won is more than a compliment to our team and staff".

He laid the ball back to Cech as Arsenal began another slow move forward, but the former Chelsea man's intended pass to Hector Bellerin was miscued and the ball trickled just wide of his own post and out for a corner.

"We wanted to be professional, we wanted to make it serious like last season".

Kyle Walker scorched the right flank several times and looked razor-sharp, while John Stones controlled the defence and caught the eye with one perfectly timed tackle on Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

"It's just one of those things". People spoke to me when I arrived saying it's like this or like that, but I discovered many things during the process, watching what happens.

Pep Guardiola has warned Manchester City's Premier League rivals that his side will only "get better and better" as the season goes on. But he suggested the early signs were promising. I'm not sure Danny Welbeck at left-back was quite the change they expected when Emery was announced as their new manager but hey, needs must.

"We finished with the spirit I want".

"We spoke about trying to be what we were".

Another bonus for City was the performance of Benjamin Mendy, who made his first Premier League start since September following a cruciate knee ligament injury.

Guardiola said the World Cup victor has space to improve on and off the pitch.

"We arrived after a hard season and I told him I want to help him and would like him to be happy". Sometimes you say, "Wow, what a player". "We want to give him confidence", stated Emery during his pre-match press conference.

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