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MIND GAMES? Pep Guardiola identifies an advantage Arsenal hold in the title race

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has identified one advantage Arsenal still hold in the Premier League title race

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta with Pep Guardiola
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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has asserted that matching Arsenal’s superior goal difference in the Premier League title race is “not possible,” emphasising the imperative of winning their remaining three games to secure their fate.

After Arsenal briefly surged four points clear at the top following their triumph over Bournemouth, City swiftly narrowed the gap to just one point with a commanding 5-1 victory over Wolves, fueled by Erling Haaland’s remarkable four-goal display.

With City having three league fixtures remaining against Fulham, Tottenham, and West Ham compared to Arsenal’s two, Guardiola’s side requires three consecutive victories to defend their title. However, any potential draws for City coupled with Arsenal’s victories in their remaining matches against Manchester United and Everton could see the trophy shift to north London.

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Despite City’s prolific scoring against Wolves, they still trail Arsenal by six goals in the crucial goal difference metric. Guardiola acknowledged the improbability of bridging this gap, emphasising the need for unwavering focus on securing victories.

Speaking after the win over Wolves, Guardiola stressed the importance of controlling their destiny, drawing parallels with previous seasons’ dramatic conclusions. Reflecting on the challenge ahead, he outlined the necessity of triumphing in each fixture, acknowledging the formidable form displayed by Arsenal since the winter break.

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“Of course. What happened at Villa two seasons ago,” Guardiola told Sky Sports. “We have to win at Fulham [next Saturday] at 12:30pm which is always difficult. And Spurs is always [difficult].

“Because goal difference is not possible. We cannot draw. The way they [Arsenal] are playing since the winter break, it is incredible, the consistency and quality they have.

“But it is in our hands. It is three games. We have to win the first, second and hopefully we arrive at the last game with our destiny in our hands.”

City’s upcoming fixture against Tottenham, their game in hand, presents a scenario where their arch-rivals could inadvertently assist Arsenal’s title aspirations with a victory. Similarly, Manchester United’s clash with Arsenal holds significant implications, with a home win potentially bringing City within touching distance of an unprecedented fourth consecutive title.

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