´The reality is we are two points behind´ – Guardiola warns title race not over as Man City bid to g

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Apr 28, 2023, 22:19

Pep Guardiola has warned Arsenal will not give up on their bid to deny Manchester City a third successive Premier League title.

After a Kevin De Bruyne-inspired City thrashed Arsenal 4-1 on Wednesday, Guardiola’s men sit two points behind the faltering leaders with two games in hand.

Arsenal are not in action again until they host Chelsea on Tuesday, meaning City have the opportunity to go top of the table when they visit Fulham on Sunday.

With Arsenal only taking three points from their last four league games and City winning their last seven, some have declared the title race to be over, despite the Gunners leading the way.

Guardiola, however, is adamant City still have work to do.

Asked about the importance of going top at Friday’s pre-match press conference, Guardiola said: “Psychologically, it’s important, but its more the fact it depends on us, we don’t have to look at anything except performing as well as possible to win games.

“People start saying they have a feeling that it’s over. It’s not over. It will be over when it’s over. In every single game, our opponents play for special things.

“I know what happened when we played at the Emirates, we won and everybody was happy, people saying we had already caught them. Then we went to Nottingham Forest and drew – it was a fantastic game, but we drew.

“If we do our job, we will be close. But we’ll take nothing for granted. We’re happy, of course, for the last few games, but that’s all.

“I know it’s not 20 games left, it’s seven games. But seven games is seven games, it’s a lot, considering we have the Champions League around the corner.”

Arsenal’s chastening defeat at the Etihad Stadium was the Gunners’ 12th in succession against City in the top flight, with Guardiola’s men winning those matches by an aggregate score of 33-5.

While that result has the potential to be a knockout blow after Mikel Arteta’s team were held by Liverpool, West Ham and Southampton, Guardiola believes Arsenal could yet fight back.

“I know Mikel perfectly, I think our players know it – they will not give up,” he said. “One of their real prizes – to be in the Champions League next season – is done. They will not give up.

“When you are 10 points in front you can say it’s over, but the reality today is we are two points behind.

“You say we have two games in hand, but we have to be respectful to the teams we have to play, West Ham and Brighton. We have to beat them. If we beat them, I will agree with you, but we still have to play.

“If the championship finished today, they are champions. It’s normal, this tendency, because of what we have done in the past, and Arsenal have not been there for a long time.

“What happened to Arsenal in the last four games can happen to us. People say it’s impossible, no. It’s possible.”

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