Was it for nights like these that Sheik Mansour funnelled the oil wealth of Abu Dhabi into Man City?
To shock and awe the 11,464 capacity crowd in the smallest ever Premier League stadium?
Probably not, just as you probably don’t employ Guardiola in order to “have a good battle to qualify for the Champions League”.
Having replaced Joe Hart with the false number one that was Claudio Bravo, Aguero is perceived to be next in the firing line.
Invited to underline how important Aguero is to the team, Guardiola instead stressed “when you play in big competitions, champions league, you need all the players”.
Does Guardiola think City can win the title?
No. “The gap is too, too, big”.
The focus for City in on their own game, “Game by game to improve our performance”.
Tonight Guardiola felt this happened and was “so so so happy with the performance”.
Leadership communication lesson
Past success buys you time and credibility as a leader. Fighting for a Champions League spot was not the expectation for City. Guardiola is drawing on credibility established elsewhere to reset these expectations. If City were to now challenge Chelsea this may be perceived to be a success. As a leader you can reset expectations if results are poor and it can be useful tactic in managing your stakeholders, it is not however a card you want to play more than once.