Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva hails statement win over Arsenal

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Bernardo Silva wrapped up Manchester City’s opening-weekend victory at Arsenal before insisting the result was a statement of intent from the defending Premier League champions.

With Unai Emery taking charge of the Gunners for the first time, City ruined his welcome party by leaving the Emirates Stadium with a fairly comfortable 2-0 win.

Bernardo tucked away a brilliant goal in the second half to add to Raheem Sterling’s opener, with Pep Guardiola’s side rarely threatened at the back.

After breaking plenty of records en route to lifting the trophy last season, City remain the favourites to keep hold of the title this time around.

Bernardo, who also scored in a 3-0 win at Arsenal last season, acknowledged it is early days to talk about more Premier League success but that a marker has been put down with this first victory.

Asked by CityTV if the result was a statement for City, the Portugal international replied: “Yes, I think so.

“We have started the season well and knew we were going to play against a very strong team at a difficult stadium but we did it, it was a very good game for us, a well-deserved win.

“But it is just the start, we have to keep working knowing it was just the first game, only three points, and we go game by game again to win the Premier League knowing we are only in August.”

Despite winning the title with a Premier League record 100 points last year, Bernardo feels it could be more difficult to retain the crown now that their rivals know what to expect.

“We want to (win the league), knowing we are playing against a lot of tough teams and that it won’t be easy,” he said.

“The opponents now know what to expect from us but we will try and do it again, work very hard to win each game week after week and we will see what happens.”

Bernardo’s fine effort secured the points for City in north London but it was Sterling’s performance which caught the eye.

The England international hit his 50th Premier League goal to put the visitors on course for three points and Bernardo believes it could be a another big season for the former Liverpool man.

“Last season was fantastic for him, he was one of the most important players for us and he has started very well, it was a fantastic goal as well,” he added.

“He is always helping us a lot defensively and offensively, he works a lot for the team and we are all very happy for him.”

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