Title race is not over – Pep Guardiola

Manchester City v Club Brugge KV: Group A - UEFA Champions League

Manchester City’s 4-1 win over Arsenal made them strong favourites for a fifth Premier league crown in six years.

Pep Guardiola has warned the Premier League title race is not over and has reminded his Manchester City players what happened last time they beat Arsenal

City beat the leaders 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday to put themselves firmly in the driver’s seat as they chase a fifth league crown in six years.

The treble-chasing champions are now just two points behind the Gunners with two games in hand and can go top with a win at Fulham on Sunday.

Still, Guardiola remembers well how his side were held to a 1-1 draw when they faced Nottingham Forest just days after winning at the Emirates Stadium in February, and he does not want a repeat.

The city manager said: “People are starting to say they feel like it’s over, but it’s not over yet. It will end when it’s all over, and it won’t.

“We have seven games and in each game we will play for special things for our opponents and for ourselves. We have to play our game.

“We won at the Emirates, everyone was happy and said we caught Arsenal, but we went to Nottingham Forest and drew. We played a fantastic game but it was a draw.

“Now we’ve won and we’re going to Fulham, a special stadium with an incredibly organized team. If we do our jobs, we will be closer, but nothing is a foregone conclusion.

“I know there are not 20 games left, but seven games are seven games. It’s still a lot of games.”

Arsenal’s challenge faltered during a miserable April and their midweek loss at City came after three successive draws.

But Guardiola feels City’s advantage is slim and expects Mikel Arteta’s side to bounce back.

He said: “I know Mikel perfectly and the players know they won’t give up.

“If we were 10 points ahead I would say it’s almost over, but the reality today is we’re two points behind. If the championship ended today, they are the champions.

“I always say what happened to them in the last games – three draws, one defeat – can happen to us.

“Impossible? No, it is possible. You can lose games and drop points in one week.

“We have to be aware of that. If so, it will be easier for us not to lose points.”

After seven consecutive wins in the Premier League City – who are also in contention for the Champions League and FA Cup – appear to have timed their attack perfectly.

“We have good momentum,” Guardiola said. “The feeling is good, but we have to prove it again.

“If we don’t get a result at Fulham, we’ll be in the same position as we were against Arsenal. We have to try to avoid that as much as possible.”

Defender Nathan Ake will miss the game at Craven Cottage as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury, but his layoff should not be long.

Guardiola said: “He is much better, he looks good. The signs are good. He’s still not training with the team, but I think he won’t be for (much) longer.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *