Pep Guardiola admits ‘difficult’ title task as Manchester City boss sends Arsenal ‘destiny’ message

Pep Guardiola

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has issued a challenge to his players ahead of their clash with Tottenham this week, urging them to keep their destiny in their own hands rather than relying on Arsenal to drop points.

The Citizens could head into the Tottenham match knowing that a victory would secure the title, but this scenario hinges on whether Arsenal can overcome United. Guardiola has previously stated his expectation for Arsenal to win their remaining two matches, implying that City must also emerge victorious in all their remaining fixtures to clinch the championship.

Following their triumph over Fulham, City now need to secure two wins this week to retain their crown. Guardiola downplayed the significance of goal difference in the title race. For that to be relevant, City would need to draw one of their matches while Arsenal avoid dropping points.

However, Guardiola did remind his squad that defeating Tottenham will ensure they control their own fate until the final day - mirroring the situation from two seasons ago when they faced Aston Villa on the last gameweek.

Pep Guardiola has put the onus on his Manchester City squad to seize control of their Premier League destiny following Arsenal's slip-up against Aston Villa. "Since they [Arsenal] lost against Aston Villa, the destiny is in our hands, we have to handle it," he declared.

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"What we want is that. That moment vs Aston Villa [in 2022], for the last game vs West Ham, the destiny is our hands. It's what we want."

The City boss acknowledged the tough run-in, including the challenging fixture at Fulham, which City won 4-0: "We have to win all the games including the ones in the past, especially the ones at Forest with no recovery. We won this season at Spurs in the FA Cup but we never won there [in the Premier League], so it will be difficult but we're ready for the challenge."

Guardiola also expressed confidence in his players' ability to cope with the end-of-season pressure. "I had the feeling they like to play with pressure. Some teams they are used to this, they have incredible personalities," he said.

"Manu [Akanji], Ruben [Dias], Kyle [Walker], Eddy, Rodri and Kova. Phil [Foden]. Players who enjoy playing with that pressure. Otherwise you know that if you don't play to that level and if you lose the game you lose the Premier League.

"We have known it for many years. Always the same. Don't think anything other than the next game. See what happens. Go to London, perform well, try to win the game."