LONDON — Manchester City must beat their main title rivals like Chelsea and Liverpool if they are to defend their Premier League crown, according to Bernardo Silva.
Pep Guardiola’s side returned to the top of the table on goal difference on Monday night with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.
City have now played away to top-five contenders Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs, taking seven points from those three fixtures without conceding a goal.
“I think that’s important to win these games,”Silva told reporters. “To have a draw away at Anfield, to win at The Emirates and now here at Wembley, it’s important but still they have to come to play us at the Etihad, which is a bit better for us.
“It’s still the beginning of the season and anything can happen, we have to keep strong and with the ambition of winning every game and never relax.
“I think we start every game with the ambition of winning it, knowing that in the Premier League it’s always complicated, especially when we play away. We know we have one of the best teams in the world, we know our qualities and we want to keep going this way.”
Despite Tottenham’s defeat, the top five are separated by just five points and Silva expects it to be a tight title race.
“I think either Chelsea and Liverpool, they are very strong, Arsenal as well, even Tottenham, even though they lost, they’re still contenders,” he added.
“I think it will be harder because last season nobody was expecting us to win as many games and to reach that level of points, so this season the teams they know they have to do better to beat us.
“Of course it will be very hard, but we will work every game to get the three points and at the end of it try and celebrate winning one more Premier League.”
The Portuguese playmaker won the title in his first season with the club and he believes that the City squad knows what it takes to win the league, even if no side has defended the league in the last 10 years.
“It helps a lot and the team has a lot of confidence in all the players and this team, we know what we’re capable of,” Silva said.
“We know that we can still improve a lot, I think the beginning of the season was very good for us, even though we have the same points as Liverpool and the other teams are very close. But, it is what it is, we have to keep staying concentrated and to try and have a gap from those teams.”