Manchester City may have added yet another record to their collection with victory over Everton but Pep Guardiola insisted he had little time to dwell on such details.
Second-half goals from Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva powered City to a 3-1 success at Goodison Park, a 17th consecutive win in all competitions that puts them 10 points clear at the top of the table.
It also made City the first English top-flight side to begin a calendar year with 10 straight league wins, not that Guardiola is counting.
“It is nice but like I said many times, sport doesn’t wait,” he said when asked about the record.
“The next target is Arsenal (on Sunday). Today we enjoy it and celebrate but tomorrow afternoon we start to think about Arsenal.”
City were pushed by Everton in the first half, with Richarlison cancelling out Phil Foden’s opener as Guardiola’s side conceded a league goal from open play for the first time in 45 days.
But once Mahrez put them back in front with a sweet left-footed strike just after the hour there was no looking back.
My face says it all. Happy to be back helping my team 😁 pic.twitter.com/wm4TNdsHkG
— Kevin De Bruyne (@DeBruyneKev) February 17, 2021
“It was a really tough game,” Guardiola said. “They were incredibly well organised defensively. It was not easy to find space but we were patient enough.
“We conceded a goal but I don’t think another chance (after that) and we created enough to win by a bigger margin.
“For the mentality to win (so many) in a row, we still have that desire. I see the team playing football not to keep what we have but to win more and today more was three points.
“In football at a high level you concede goals but it is important to concede few chances. It is like what happened at Anfield – (Liverpool) equalised and we reacted well, and the same happened today.”
While City roll on, the odds on a third league title under Guardiola tumbling with every game at present, it was a third home league defeat in a row for Everton, who remain in the hunt for a top-four place but are letting chances slip by.
— Everton (@Everton) February 17, 2021
With the Merseyside derby to come at Anfield on Saturday, this is a crucial phase in the season.
“It was a really difficult game,” Carlo Ancelotti said. “For one hour we had good control – defending of course, we needed to defend but for one hour we did well.
“But when they scored the second it was almost impossible to come back again. We don’t need to have regret for this game. In this moment you can lose against Manchester City.
“I think they are going the right way to win the title this season.”
James Rodriguez came on as a second-half substitute but Allan was not involved, held back as a precaution, while a first-half injury for Yerry Mina looks like ruling the Colombian out of facing Liverpool.
“Mina had a problem on his calf and I think he will not be available for the game on Saturday,” Ancelotti said.
“But we hope to have (Dominic) Calvert-Lewin and Allan also.”