Pep Guardiola congratulates Manchester City players after late win over Arsenal

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola moved to praise his team’s character after a dramatic win away at Arsenal on New Year’s Day.

Bukayo Saka had put the home side in-front before the break in what looked like an off-day for the Premier League champions, before Riyad Mahrez converted a controversial penalty following a Granit Xhaka challenge on Bernardo Silva.

The victory extended City’s lead atop the division to eleven points before second-placed Chelsea host third-placed Liverpool on Sunday and Guardiola was eager to celebrate his players’ ability to overcome an impressive Arsenal challenge.

“(Winning) 11 games in a row is so great in this period,” he said to the club’s official website.

“Just take a look at our bench today, it was four guys from the Academy.

“We had many cases from COVID this season and injuries. Phil Foden, Kyle [Walker] today and Rodri the first day since COVID time.

“This period today we were incredibly tired, mentally and physically. Arsenal were better today, but football happens in these situations, sometimes it comes on our side.

“Congratulations [to the players].

“We are not a team to score goals in extra time. I don’t remember the last time we scored a goal after 90 minutes!”

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