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Pep Guardiola fires back at Neville, Carragher & Richards over complacency claims

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hit out at Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher and Micah Richards after it was suggested his team is growing complacent in success.

City have won three Premier League titles in a row and five of the last six. They are pursuing a fourth consecutive triumph but have dropped points in three successive games against Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, losing the lead in each.

Having won only three of their last eight Premier League games, City have also kept just one clean sheet – against Manchester United at Old Trafford – in that period. Neville raised complacency during recent coverage, while the others chipped in with their own reservations about City.

“He knows how difficult it is. Otherwise, Gary Neville would’ve won four [consecutive] Premier Leagues in the best period of Manchester United. But he didn’t do it,” Guardiola responded.

“Jamie Carragher didn’t win one once. Micah Richards didn’t win four Premier Leagues in a row. Never, ever. It’s never happened. There is more chance of if it not happening than happening. Just one treble before us. It’s so difficult to [win] again and again.”

Gary Neville

Pep Guardiola took exception to Gary Neville’s comments / Alex Livesey – Danehouse/GettyImages

Three in a row, achieved by Huddersfield Town, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United (twice) and the current Manchester City side, is the longest title-winning streak in the super competitive 135-year history of league football in England.

Neville was part of the Manchester United side that did a ‘three-peat’ in 1998/99, 1999/00 and 2000/01 but admitted in his 2011 autobiography that “it is hard not to become a little complacent” and dedicated an entire chapter to ‘The Hangover’ after the club’s 1999 treble.

United managed three in a row again in 2006/07, 2007/08 and 2008/09, although Neville missed a lot of action during those years due to injury. They only narrowly missed out on an unprecedented fourth in 2009/10 after finishing just one point behind Chelsea.

The closest Carragher got to winning the Premier League was when Liverpool finished second in 2001/02 and 2008/09, seven points behind Arsenal and four points behind Manchester United respectively. Meanwhile, Richards won one with Manchester City in 2011/12.

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