Pep Guardiola gives Liverpool & Arsenal title verdict as he warns Man City players

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The Manchester City manager also gave his verdict on Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa’s aspirations.

Pep Guardiola has warned his Manchester City players that they cannot afford many slip ups between now and the end of the season if they are to be crowned Premier League champions once again.

The Blues moved back into second place and above Arsenal on Wednesday night after beating Burnley 3-1 in the Premier League, with Kevin De Bruyne making his first start since August and Erling Haaland coming off the bench.

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While City look like they have all the ingredients needed for another title charge, Guardiola warned after the game that two major obstacles stand between them and a fourth consecutive league triumph: Liverpool and Arsenal.

“What is important is that we are there,” said the five-time Premier League champion. “I know now that in the first part of the season there were a lot of games, now we are counting games and we know that if we drop points with the quality that Arsenal and Liverpool have, and maybe another one…

“It’s one step at a time, one game at a time. We did it and I think we are going to do it again. I know it’s February and there are a lot of games but against this Liverpool, everybody knows it’s the same Liverpool we have faced during seven or eight years. 

“Arsenal, since Mikel settled the squad and now they are there. I don’t have the feeling that they are going to drop many points. That’s why we have to win as many games as possible. One at a time and after we will see what happens.”

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City are five points behind leaders Liverpool in the title race but they do have a game in hand. The Reds put in an assured display on Wednesday as they beat Chelsea 4-1 to record a fourth consecutive league victory.

With the Merseyside club also still alive in three cup competitions and imbued with additional motivation following Jurgen Klopp’s upcoming departure, Guardiola feels his old adversaries will provide stiff competition once again.

“When we won a lot of games in a row, it was because we had that feeling that Liverpool would not drop points,” he explained. “Now we have that feeling and you see that they are winning comfortably so we have to be ready.  We know that we have to be ready and the players know it.

“I think it’s not just three,” he added. “Tottenham are still there, Aston Villa are still there. It can change. My feeling when I see Arsenal playing, they control many aspects of the game and it’s quite similar with Liverpool. 

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“When you see the games, every game they are better than their opponent. They can lose games, of course, but they are better. I know how strong they are but still we are there and we want to continue. We are there and the important thing is we are there.”

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