Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola feels that his side must be near-perfect till the end of the season in order to have a chance to dethrone Arsenal to capture the Premier League title.
Defending champions City have an eight-point deficit with table-toppers Arsenal, prior to their game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.
City and Arsenal’s previous matches were draws, against Everton and Newcastle respectively. Arsenal’s draw has given City a chance to cut the deficit a little more. But the manager feels that his side has to close the gap completely.
“The way they played against Newcastle again impressed me a lot. They dropped two points but they did not drop the quality [with which] they played,” Sky Sports quoted the manager as saying.
“We have to be almost perfect, I would say, from here to the end of the season and hope they drop a little bit in their performance. But, at the same time, I see the way we played the last games, and the feeling is good,” he added.
Guardiola said that his target as a manager is to be himself and better than his opponent.
“And after if you concede one shot and they score and we cannot score, you have to accept it and move forward. What I want to see is us still fight, do not give up, not now, until the last chance, until the last drop of water we can fight to win the Premier League, and the moment we are not able to win the Premier League we have to be ready to compete next season. This is when teams are really good,” said the manager.
After winning the title in four out of the previous five seasons and their financial strength, Guardiola admits that his side feels certain pressures.
“The advantage of Arsenal and Manchester United right now is nobody has to win the Premier League for 20 points ahead in November like Manchester City has to – and this is sometimes a big problem,” he said.
“People say, ‘Ah, yes, you are…’ Yes, we are, but with Arsenal winning all their games and you are seven or eight points behind… it [Arsenal winning the title] can happen,” he added.
Arsenal is at the top of the table with 44 points, they have won 14 points, draw two and lost one. On the other hand, City is at second with 36 points. In their 16 matches, they have won 11, drawn three and lost two. City’s next match will be against Chelsea while Gunners will be taking on Tottenham Hotspurs on January 15. (ANI)