Home Sport Manchester City still on edge despite Spurs win, says Guardiola

Manchester City still on edge despite Spurs win, says Guardiola

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Manchester City host West Ham on the final day knowing anything less than victory will allow Arsenal to take the title should they beat Everton.

Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola reacts during the English Premier League football match against Tottenham Hotspur at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on May 14, 2024. Picture: Ben Stansall, AFP

Manchester City will be affected by the nerves of going for a fourth consecutive Premier League title on Sunday, said Pep Guardiola despite his side’s experience.

City moved to the top of the table, two points ahead of Arsenal, thanks to Erling Haaland’s second-half double to beat their bogey side Tottenham on Tuesday.

It is the first time Guardiola’s men have won at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the Premier League, but it was a far from vintage performance.

After Haaland opened the scoring early in the second period, substitute goalkeeper Stefan Ortega had to make three crucial saves before the Norwegian striker settled the visitors with a penalty in stoppage time.

Unbeaten since December

City have won eight straight Premier League games and are unbeaten from open play in any competition since December 6.

But they host West Ham on the final day knowing anything less than victory will allow Arsenal to take the title should they beat Everton.

“They were playing for the consequences of the result. When you play football thinking about the consequences, you are going to lose the Premier League, you cannot perform at your best level,” said Guardiola of his side’s display.

“But they are human beings so I can understand the pressure is there. It will be the same against West Ham. We will feel the pressure.”

In the same circumstances two years ago City needed a late rally from 2-0 down to beat Aston Villa 3-2 and deny Liverpool the title.

“They feel it there and they know it. They are not celebrating, there is relief but there is still a job to do,” added Guardiola.

“The tennis players say ‘the serve to win Wimbledon is the most difficult one’.

“(We need to) prepare well, completely focus and try to win there.”

Ready for history

Rodri said City are ready to rewrite the record books once more by becoming the first side to ever win four consecutive English top-flight titles.

“We know it wasn’t our best performance but we came here to win and that’s what we do,” said the Spanish midfielder.

“We have the experience of Aston Villa. We know it is going to be tough but with our people, our crowd, we know we can make history.”

On a tense evening in north London, Arsenal needed their local rivals to do them a favour and Tottenham gave City a scare.

Ortega replaced Ederson after the Brazilian suffered a head knock in challenge with Cristian Romero. Ederson was visibly frustrated to be removed but Ortega proved to be City’s hero with one huge stop to deny Son Heung-min an equaliser five minutes from time.

“Stefan was simply incredible”, added Rodri.

“I know Edi was upset but the substitution makes sense because he had a concussion.”

AFP

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