Manchester City's fast start a pleasant surprise for Ilkay Gundogan

Pep Guardiola's men begin their title defence at Arsenal on Sunday, looking to back-up a record-breaking campaign that saw them amass 100 points to win the league.

Published: 07th August 2018 04:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th August 2018 04:15 AM   |  A+A-

Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England. | (File | AP)

By AFP

LONDON: Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan was pleasantly surprised by how quickly the English champions settled back into their stride by beating Chelsea 2-0 to win the Community Shield in an ominous performance for the rest of the Premier League.

Pep Guardiola's men begin their title defence at Arsenal on Sunday, looking to back-up a record-breaking campaign that saw them amass 100 points to win the league by a 19-point margin from Manchester United.

"I was curious the way we would start the game and how it would go," German international Gundogan told the club's website.

"I wouldn't say that it was necessary to give us confidence, but the first weeks when the season starts, the important games start, you never really know what to expect. You don't really know 100 percent on which level you are.

"It was a great test for us, a last test before the Premier League season. At the end we feel ready right now and we can't wait for the season to start."

Guardiola could even afford the luxury of leaving Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Raheem Sterling out of his matchday squad at Wembley after their World Cup exertions.

However, Sergio Aguero showed no hangover from Argentina's early exit in Russia by scoring twice to take his tally for the club to 201.

"We feel very lucky to have Sergio in our team, a striker like him," added Gundogan.

"On top of that even Gabriel (Jesus) with his ability and his quality. We have two great strikers and feel very, very happy."

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