Belfast Telegraph

Relentless City may well be the greatest side we've seen in recent times, maintains Neville

Impressive stuff: Gary Neville has been blown away by City
Impressive stuff: Gary Neville has been blown away by City

By Robert Jones

Gary Neville, an eight-time title winner with Manchester United, has admitted Manchester City could be the greatest Premier League team ever.

Pep Guardiola's men clinched back-to-back crowns on Sunday, edging out Liverpool by a point after winning the final 14 games.

They have now won the league four times in eight years to establish themselves as the dominant force in English football, and could complete an unprecedented domestic treble in Saturday's FA Cup final.

Asked if they could be considered the best team in the Premier League era, former United and England defender Neville said: "I think so. There are people who'll debate that, but what they have done in this last two years...

"Last year was a great achievement, but when you win back-to-back titles amassing the points that they have, withstanding that challenge that they've had from Liverpool, which was relentless right the way to the very end, it makes them a great side.

"Pep Guardiola has come to England and people will mention the Champions League, but I would dismiss that. To do what he's done here in this last two years is unprecedented, it's incredible. The points tallies are out of this world and the football he's played as well, so I think you can say yes, this is the greatest.

"I like our teams, I like Chelsea - there will be people who'll say, 'Who is the greatest?', but what they've done in terms of points, you just cannot deny."

In guiding City to their latest success, former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach Guardiola simply enhanced his own reputation and, in Neville's opinion, should be regarded alongside the aristocrats of the English game.

Neville said: "There will be people who will question that City have fallen short in the Champions League, but what he achieved yesterday, and he has a chance next week to win a domestic treble, puts him up there with the great managers.

"Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho, Sir Alex Ferguson and now Pep Guardiola are the great managers of the Premier League era.

"I don't know how long he's going to stay in England, but if he stayed for another two or three years, he could win another two or three Championships"

Champions League glory could yet soothe Liverpool's pain, and Neville added: "When I think of the Barcelona team Guardiola had nine years ago, it stopped Man United winning three Champions Leagues just because they were so good, and Liverpool can look at it pragmatically with a philosophical view that they came up against a great side."

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