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Pep Guardiola said Manchester City “are not the best in the world” despite them extending their lead at the top of the Premier League to 12 points following victory over Brentford.

Riyad Mahrez scored his eighth goal in seven games as they moved further away from second-placed Liverpool, who play Leicester on Thursday.

But Guardiola said he “does not care” for “stupid things” like praising his side for being better than the rest.

“In so many ways I’m impressed with [the players’] attitude,” he added. “They still have the desire in every game to do their. htmlGuardiola hails Cancelo & Stones’ movement in ‘important win’

“Normally they are being complimented, being praised – ‘you are the best team in the world’ – these stupid things. You can be confused, but we are still normal.

“We are not the best team in the world. The best team in the world is Chelsea, the best team is Palmeiras. We are not the best and I don’t care.”

European champions Chelsea, who currently sit third in the table, play Brazilian side Palmeiras in the Club World Cup Final on Saturday.

That is a trophy Manchester City have never competed for because they have not won the Champions League in order to qualify.

City were deserved winners against Brentford despite a tough opening. Mads Roerslev’s rash tackle on Raheem Sterling then presented Mahrez with the opportunity to score and he sent David Raya the wrong way from the penalty spot. made two big mistakes against Man City – Frank

Kevin de Bruyne doubled City’s lead after 69 minutes when he finished off the rebound after Raya had rolled the ball straight to Sterling on the edge of the area, then denied the England man with a save he could not hold.

For Brentford, who did not include new signing Christian Eriksen even though the Dane started training with them this week after signing a six-month contract, the harsh realities of life in the top flight are beginning to become evident.

Thomas Frank’s men have now lost six in a row in all competitions for the first time since 2006. Then, Oldham and Cheltenham were among the teams who beat them when they were in League One.

Now it’s Liverpool, Manchester United and defending champions City.

Stones slots in at right-back

Guardiola has sprung so many selection surprises down the years, nothing is too much of a shock.

This time it was naming three central defenders and no orthodox right-back, even though England’s Kyle Walker was on the bench.

John Stones got the job. While it did seem for a while as though his role was to alternate between a back four and a three-man central defence, depending upon whether City had the ball or not, it became apparent it was more technical than that.

He could be wide on the right touchline, further inside or threatening the box, mirroring what Joao Cancelo was doing on the other side.

Stones also curled crosses in from roughly the same position De Bruyne has earned such praise for doing so.

City’s fluidity was so far removed from the old-school English tactics of the past and when another defender, Aymeric Laporte, controlled the ball on his chest and rolled a shot narrowly wide of the far post, it felt like a throwback to ‘Total Football’ and the Netherlands’ 1970s golden era under coach Rinus Michels.

Cancelo flashed a shot over just after half-time and then went on a slalom-like journey though the Brentford box before firing straight at Raya.

It merely underlined the flexible nature of a City side that ended with £100m man Jack Grealish at centre-forward after coming off the bench.

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