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Pep Guardiola identifies Arsenal secret weapon ahead of title clash 

Pep Guardiola has praised Arsenal on their approach throughout this season

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Pep Guardiola
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Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has identified the secret behind Arsenal’s success this season.

Arsenal has been the team to beat this season in the Premier League, topping the table for the majority of the campaign. 

With five points separating the two sides ahead of the title decider on Wednesday at the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola says Arsenal approach of playing every game like a final has catapulted the leaders into genuine title challengers.

“I’ve said many weeks ago, getting towards the end of the season we know if we lose games the situation will be over.

“When you live in these kind of situations, in October, November, you can’t have that feeling. Especially after winning back-to-back Premier Leagues. For our first Premier League, we started the season like every game was a final, every game was a final.

“I remember it perfectly, seeing it from the outside that Arsenal had that feeling this season, every game is a final. This season for us, after back-to-back Premier Leagues, every game wasn’t a final at the start.”

The Manchester City boss who was full of praise noted Arsenal’s rise under Arteta, stating that his former assistant has brought a new ‘dimension’ to the club.

“The development of Arsenal since Mikel has taken over has been obvious. When you talk about the word manager – I’m a trainer, a football trainer. Not a manager.

“I had the feeling that Mikel changed the structure of the club, the mentality, not just the formations or the build-up on the pitch.

READ MORE: Arteta insists winning at Etihad won’t decide league title

“He’s made lots of decisions, changed lots of players, with a lot of support from the hierarchy I assume, and that’s why the success is there.

“He’s brought Arsenal from the position they were back into the top six, or now a top eight to fight for the Premier League with Newcastle having joined. Every year it will be more and more difficult, and in the last years Arsenal were never there [near the title], they were always far, far away.

“Last season they were close to reaching the top four, and now they have made another step because all season they have been up there. We’ve been there for the last month, two months, but they have been there all season. Their consistency has been really good.

“Mikel has brought a new dimension. They are huge competitors in all senses, so aggressive,” he added.

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