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Guardiola salutes City stars as Chelsea are drubbed

Pep Guardiola hailed his Manchester City players after they returned to the top of the table with a stunning 6-0 win over Chelsea.

Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick - a record-equalling 11th in the Premier League - as City powered back to the top of the Premier League by demolishing Maurizio Sarri's men at the Etihad Stadium.

The victory was City's third in the space of eight days since a surprise defeat at St James' Park, with Arsenal and Everton having also been brushed aside.

Guardiola, whose side lead Liverpool at the top on goal difference, said: "After three games in a week - tough games against Arsenal and at Goodison Park - playing the way we played with this intensity and patience to find spaces in the right moments, the players were outstanding.

"I just said to them thank you for what they have done.

"After Newcastle we spoke to each other and put ourselves in front of a mirror, and accepted the reality. After that we worked, moved forward. 'We are there, we are the leaders, but Liverpool have one more game (in hand)."

Asked if it was one of City's best performances of his reign, Guardiola said: "Yes, we played good. The first four times we arrived we scored three goals. Sergio missed one but after he made an incredible goal.

"It was not easy because Chelsea demanded a lot and we defended deeper, like never before, because they have the quality to find spaces. They created problems.

"Six goals against Chelsea is not easy and we are so pleased for this week. Now we can have two days off and prepare for Newport and the (Carabao Cup) final."

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