Pep Guardiola greeted Manchester City players after the champions continued the breathtaking reaction to the defeat at Newcastle with a 6-0 win over Chelsea.
Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick – a record eleventh in the Premier League – as City rejoined the Premier League by destroying Maurizio Sarri's men at the Etihad Stadium.
The win was City's third in eight days since a surprise defeat at St. James's Park. Arsenal and Everton were also pushed aside.
Guardiola, whose side led Liverpool at the head of the goal difference, said: "After three games in a week – tough games against Arsenal and at Goodison Park – we played with such intensity and patience to find space in the right moments. The players were outstanding.
"I just told them, thanks for what they did.
"After Newcastle, we spoke to each other, stood in front of a mirror and accepted the reality. After that we worked, went on.
"We are there, we are the leaders, but Liverpool still has a game (in the hand)."
When asked if it was one of City's best achievements during his reign, Guardiola said, "Yes, we played well.
"The first four times when we arrived, we scored three goals. Sergio missed one, but after making an incredible goal.
"It was not easy because Chelsea asked a lot and we defended more deeply than ever before because they have the quality to find spaces. You have created problems.
"Six goals against Chelsea are not easy and we are very excited about this week. Now we can have two days off and prepare for Newport and the final of the (Carabao Cup). "
With the Hattrick of Aguero Alan Shearer reached his record of eleven and was also his 15th in the city colors. During this time he was with 160 hits of the record league scorers of the city.
He should have had even more, missed a sitter at the beginning and kicked the bar.
Raheem Sterling also scored twice, Ilkay Gundogan scoring City's other goal.
When asked what he thought of Aguero's maiden, Guardiola said, "He told me he saw Kepa come to close the room and wanted to be near the post. He missed that way.
"I told him not to do it again, but after that his reaction was a little better!"
Guardiola, who won three LaLiga titles and two Champions League leagues responsible for Barcelona, was asked how his current team compared to that at the Nou Camp.
He said, "We have won three titles since we were together. In Barcelona we have won much, much more.
"But despite the titles, the desire to do their best and have respect for where they are is unbelievable. It's pretty similar, but I do not want to compare. "