Manchester City dominated domestic competitions last season but coach Pep Guardiola had a stark warning for his side. "We'll start again from scratch".
Pep Guardiola says Manchester City are starting from scratch next season and warned his side will have more than just an "amazing rivalry" with Liverpool to contend with. City completed a Premier League, FA Cup and EFL Carabao Cup treble in the 2018-19 campaign, edging out the Reds by a solitary point in the title race.
Liverpool also finished the season with silverware as they defeated Tottenham 2-0 in Saturday's Champions League final in Madrid. The two are expected to be the main protagonists in the title race again next season, but Guardiola – speaking to reporters at the Liga Endesa basketball play-off between BAXI Manresa and Real Madrid – insists City will have plenty of company in the battle for supremacy.
Tough to win the Premier League
"We have an amazing rivalry, but not only with them [Liverpool], there are five other strong teams and that's why the Premier League is so tough," he said. "Next season we will start from scratch and we'll see what happens."
The former Barcelona boss also answered questions on current Blaugrana coach Ernesto Valverde, whose future at Camp Nou came under scrutiny after a humiliating Champions League semi-final defeat to Liverpool and defeat in the Copa del Rey final to Valencia. Barça did retain their title in LaLiga, though, and Guardiola offered his backing to Valverde.
"All of us lost the Champions League"
"Away from the great friendship that we have, Ernesto is spectacular," he added. "He's done a very good job. Sure he lost the Champions League, we all did. [He's in charge of] a team that has won two league [titles] in a row and plays good football, I'm happy that he's staying. Barcelona continue being loyal to his style."