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Premier League Title Race Not Over – Guardiola

  • SPORT
  • 2 min read

Manchester City are on the verge of moving to the top of the Premier League as they will leapfrog title rivals Arsenal if they beat Fulham on Sunday but manager Pep Guardiola is taking nothing for granted even though his side are now favourites to win a third successive top flight title.

City travel to Fulham having won nine of their last 10 league matches, most recently a 4-1 win against leaders Arsenal on Wednesday. A win against the London side would lift City a point clear of Arsenal with a game in hand.

The Spaniard said the title race is not over and City will be wary of the threat posed by 10th-placed Fulham.

“People are saying it is over – it is not. It will be over when it is over, but it is not over. We still have seven games, we have to (play) our game. Now we go to Fulham against an incredible team,” Guardiola told reporters on Friday.

“We are in games where everyone is fighting for something… Fulham have a special stadium and an organised team. We will take nothing for granted.

“We’re happy for the last game and the performance but that is all. It’s not over.”

Kevin De Bruyne’s performance stood out against Arsenal, with two goals and an assist, and Guardiola praised the Belgian midfielder, saying he is an “exceptional player” with high standards despite his longevity in the game.

De Bruyne was denied a hat-trick when he was substituted in the second half and Guardiola said the ‘exceptional’ 31-year-old needed to be looked after amid a hectic schedule.

“We cannot demand every single player during a period of 10 years with a game every three days, 11 months in a row, rest three weeks and come back for pre-season… to be on the up all the time,” Guardiola said.

“So sometimes sitting and not playing is good. It’s not to punish him, sometimes you have to realise and refresh your mind. His standards are so, so high and you’ll have an opportunity to show how happy you are playing football.”

Guardiola said Dutch defender Nathan Ake is improving after picking up a hamstring injury against Bayern Munich but is yet to return to team training.

Reuters