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Pep Guardiola names title favourite with nine games remaining after Arsenal draw

Pep Guardiola has named who he thinks are now the favourites to win the Premier League title this season after the draw with Arsenal

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Pep Guardiola
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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has conceded that Liverpool are the favourites to win the Premier League title this season after the goalless draw against Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium. 

With only nine matches remaining in the season, Guardiola acknowledged Liverpool’s ascendancy following their 2-1 victory over Brighton earlier in the day, which placed Jürgen Klopp’s side two points ahead of Arsenal and three points ahead of defending champions Manchester City.

Guardiola’s acknowledgment of Liverpool’s newfound status came in his post-match comments, where he stated, “Yes. Always who is first is ­favourites, second is Arsenal and we are third.” Concerns were raised about City potentially running out of matches to catch up with Liverpool, to which Guardiola responded, “It’s not in our hands.” He emphasised the importance of focusing on upcoming matches, stating, “We prefer to win, obviously. We take the point… We’ll see what happens.”

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The stalemate against Arsenal marked the first time City failed to score at home in 57 matches. Despite Arsenal’s defensive prowess, Guardiola refrained from criticism, instead jokingly suggesting extreme measures such as playing with nine players to counter their tactics. He commended Arsenal’s defensive strategy, acknowledging their effectiveness in frustrating City’s attack.

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On the other side, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta expressed satisfaction with his team’s performance, highlighting their improvement and ability to compete at a higher level. While acknowledging the significance of earning a point against City. 

“You want to win the game. You prepare to win it. If you cannot win it, make sure you draw it. We did that.

“Eleven months ago we were here and the story was very different. You have to make steps as a team and today we’ve done that. We still have many more to come. No way can you be fully happy [with a point].

“It generates belief [today’s result]. It continues momentum and the good position that we’re in. The fact that the boys are there and they want more and they’re ­demanding individually from themselves saying: ‘I could have done ­better, I haven’t done this as well as when we trained’ – that tells you just how much the boys want it. We’ll try our best to continue what we’re doing.”

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