LONDON: Manchester City midfielder İlkay Gündoğan 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 Gündoğan 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% 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 Agüero 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 Gündoğan.
“On top of that, even Gabriel (Jesus) with his ability and his quality. We have two great strikers and feel very, very happy.”