By Ben Spratt
Ilkay Gundogan says Manchester City are ready to begin their Premier League title defence after continuing where they left off last season in the Community Shield.
City enjoyed a record-breaking 2017-18, claiming 100 points in the league, and they were dominant again in Sunday’s Wembley clash with Chelsea, winning 2-0 thanks to a Sergio Aguero brace.
The champions start the league campaign against Arsenal this weekend and midfielder Gundogan drew encouragement from the performance level shown against Chelsea.
“I wouldn’t say it was necessary to give us confidence, but you never really know what to expect in the first weeks when the season starts and the important games start,” he told City’s official website.
“You do not know 100 per cent what your level is, so that’s why, ahead of next week, it was a great test for us – even though it was for a trophy.
“It was the last test before the Premier League season and, at the end, we feel ready right now. We can’t wait for the season to start.”
Aguero’s first strike was his 200th for City, and Gundogan is delighted his side already have a forward in top form.
“I played with [Robert] Lewandowski as well and he’s also a world-class striker, but I think they are both at an incredible level,” he said of Aguero.
“It’s very difficult to compare other strikers with these ones, because they are just incredible. They can score goals out of nothing.
“We are very happy. We feel very lucky to have Sergio in our team, a striker like him. On top of that, we have Gabriel [Jesus] and his ability. We have two great strikers and are very happy.”