Pep Guardiola praised the winning mentality instilled by his old guard as Manchester City thrashed Arsenal to lift the Carabao Cup on Sunday.
The 3-0 victory saw Guardiola claim his first silverware in England having been appointed as manager at the Etihad Stadium in 2016.
Sergio Aguero opened the scoring with a well-taken chip before Vincent Kompany and David Silva struck after the break to sew up a convincing win.
Manchester City lifted the Carabao Cup with victory over Arsenal (Joe Giddens/PA)
All three players were at the club when Guardiola arrived and, despite shelling out on big name talent, they all remain key to his plans.
“They (the experienced players) help, these three guys along with Yaya Toure…they help to be what Manchester City is right now,” he said.
“It is special. Sergio, Vincent and David scored the three goals and they help us understand what it means, they put the pressure on us to win more titles.
“People who come here know they have to win titles and that is why it is so important.”
Kompany was particularly outstanding as he kept Arsenal’s club record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang quiet whilst weighing in with a crucial goal at the other end of the pitch.
Guardiola paid special praise to the Belgium international and other City players who have formed part of the squad over the course of recent years.
“He made an outstanding performance today,” Guardiola said of his captain.
“It is not easy to defend from 40 metres out against Aubameyang, he is so fast.”
The Belgium defender has suffered a torrid time with injury in recent years and was clearly overjoyed when he put his side two goals ahead.
“My body feels great,” said Kompany after lifting the trophy.
“Mentally in my nature I’m just a warrior and any challenge I kind of see as something to get stronger and help me along the way and, no matter what, carry on.”
Manchester City certainly did not have to be at their best to beat a below-par Arsenal side.
Arsene Wenger conceded the Gunners were soundly defeated and believed the goals were all down to the ineptitude of his players on the day.
“You cannot say you are not disappointed when you concede goals the way we conceded goals,” he said.
“I think there was no need to make the corner on the second goal. You take the good and the bad when you’re a manager. That’s part of the game.
“We go away disappointed. I feel a little bit that everything went against us today. We self-inflicted our punishment, because we had an unbelievable chance at 0-0.
“We gave them a goal and were a bit unlucky in the second half, even if we didn’t start well at all, and were punished.”
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