Pep Guardiola admits Manchester City need to be ‘almost perfect’ to catch Arsenal in Premier League title race

Pep Guardiola admits Manchester City need to be ‘almost perfect’ to catch Arsenal in Premier League title race

Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City have to be “almost perfect” if they are to win the Premier League this season.

Arsenal lead the way at the top of the table, eight points clear of City after their goalless draw with Newcastle on Tuesday night. Guardiola’s side have the chance to cut into that deficit when they travel to face Chelsea on Thursday.

The Gunners’ form has been a surprise to many, with it widely assumed that City would ease to another title success considering the relentless goalscoring form of Erling Haaland since his summer arrival.

However, Mikel Arteta and his side have lost just once in the league all season, while City have picked up only four points from their last three league home games. They needed a 95th-minute winner against Fulham in that run to avoid slipping up further.

The Premier League’s top two sides meet at the Emirates in February before Arsenal travel to Manchester at the end of April, matches that will likely play a decisive role in where the trophy ends up this season.

Ahead of his side’s trip to Stamford Bridge, Guardiola admitted his side are relying on the league leaders cooling off if they are to close the gap.

“The way you have to reduce the gap is play good and win games,” the Man City boss said.

“(Arsenal) have an average that they will do more than 100 points the way they have done so far.

“If they continue in that way, we will not catch them. We have to be almost perfect from here and hope they drop their performance - yesterday they were excellent against Newcastle - and see what happens.”