For the first time since Pep Guardiola‘s first season at Manchester City, the club are looking up in the standings.
With Man City’s comfortable 3-0 win over 10-man Wolverhampton Wanderers, Guardiola’s side are now just four points back of Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool. With such a tight race, one could forgive some Man City players of keeping an eye on Liverpool’s results while trying to keep winning their own. Guardiola, however, urged his side on Monday evening to focus on themselves.
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“We cannot play Liverpool so we can’t do anything about them – all we can do is win our games,” Guardiola told reporters. “We can control what we do and that’s being there (challenging for the title) but if we won’t win, then they will be Champions and I will congratulate Jurgen. That’s why we have to win. We have incredible numbers after what we did last season.
“I don’t have a crystal ball to know (how many points Man City will need). I said to the players: don’t watch the calendar for the Liverpool games because when that happens, you get distracted and lose games. They are one team and have done better so far but we have to be there until the end.”
Interestingly enough, both teams have a decent run of fixtures ahead. Liverpool has Crystal Palace and Leicester City at home before traveling to West Ham, while Manchester City visits Huddersfield Town before cup fixtures against Burton Albion and Burnley. However, come February, the tough fixtures arrive. Liverpool has a pair of matches in the UEFA Champions League against Bayern Munich as well as facing Manchester United, Watford away and then Everton in the first weekend of March. For Man City, it faces Arsenal, Chelsea, and two matches against Schalke all in a row to start February, which will be a difficult run.
The Premier League title wasn’t decided in December, but it could be within the next 30 days, depending on how each club manages that stretch.