Guardiola plays down Man City title chances


Guardiola plays down Man City title chances
Soccer Football - Premier League - Burnley v Manchester City - Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain - December 3, 2019 Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola before the match Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

In Summary

  • Gabriel Jesus scored twice as the reigning Premier League champions beat Burnley 4-1 at Turf Moor
  • After the disappointment of Saturday's draw against Newcastle, which left City 11 points behind Liverpool, this was a strong reaction from Guardiola's team, keeping their hopes of a third straight Premier League title alive

Pep Guardiola says it would be “crazy” for Manchester City to start thinking about the Premier League title, despite his side returning to winning ways on Tuesday night.

Gabriel Jesus scored twice as the reigning Premier League champions beat Burnley 4-1 at Turf Moor.

After the disappointment of Saturday’s draw against Newcastle, which left City 11 points behind Liverpool, this was a strong reaction from Guardiola’s team, keeping their hopes of a third straight Premier League title alive.

“But the title is over?” Guardiola said with a grin on his face. “From what I read, nobody gives us a chance. It’s done.

“I don’t believe it but it’s not about if I don’t believe it or not. Our team is stable, but with the distance we have to Liverpool, it would be a little bit crazy to think about the title, honestly.

“We have to think about the derby and game by game. It’s not just the Premier League. We have the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Champions League so we just have to take this rhythm into the next set of fixtures.”

The last time City visited Turf Moor in late April, they needed a win to maintain their slender lead at the top of the table and ground out a scrappy 1-0 victory.

Three points this time felt just as vital, with City having only won one of their previous five matches in all competitions.

After dropping two points against Newcastle during Saturday’s 2-2 draw at St James’ Park, this was an emphatic response from City.

Indeed, it was the 36th time City have won a Premier League game by three or more goals under Guardiola – the most of any team in the competition since the start of 2016/17 season.

“It’s a good result thanks to our performance as we played really well,” Guardiola added. “I’m so satisfied with the way we played, and the way we have been playing in the last few games.

“Gabriel’s first goal is especially good and his second was an incredible assist from Bernardo. We need him and he needed to score these two goals as they will help him and the team in the absence of our incredible striker Sergio (Aguero).

“It was quite similar to the Newcastle game, but he didn’t score. The way we’ve been playing lately except 20 minutes against Chelsea, in the first half after we conceded a goal, the rest of the games we’ve been playing lately has been at a good level.”

Jesus believes City now face the challenge of playing every game with the same quality they showed against Burnley.

“That is the challenge,” the 22-year-old said after ending his 10-game scoring drought for club and country. “We have to fight every time we play. That is the level. Tonight we played good and win the game, it’s important.”

“I have to score when I play because Sergio (Aguero) scores every time. I want to play and score every time.”

City’s preparations for the game were disrupted when the lights in the away dressing room at Turf Moor went out.

City tweeted about the issue, posting a picture of a black screen accompanied by the message: “Checking out the scene inside the away dressing room at Turf Moor.”

When Pep Guardiola was carrying out his pre-match interview, a cheer suggested the problem had been resolved.

A temporary light was brought to enable the City players to get changed.

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