London - Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan 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 Gundogan 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 percent
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 Aguero 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 Gundogan.
"On top of that even Gabriel (Jesus) with his ability
and his quality. We have two great strikers and feel very, very happy."