LONDON — The equation for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City is very simple: win their final game of the season at home against Aston Villa and they will be crowned Premier League champions.
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Guardiola’s side were 2-0 down at half time after a Jarrod Bowen double but City fought back in the second half admirably to draw and should have won late on as Riyad Mahrez had a penalty kick saved in the 86th minute.
However, the draw is enough to give City the scenario they wanted heading into the final game of the season. A win would have been better but they now know three points on the final day will secure their fourth title in the last five seasons.
Guardiola rallies City’s fans
Speaking to reporters after City’s comeback draw at West Ham, Guardiola urged his side to take care of business on the final day and also had a message for Man City’s fans.
“Now it is no debate about goal difference or anything. It is just win our game and be champion. If we don’t win Liverpool will be champion. I can assure you something, in one week our stadium will be sold out. We will give them all of our lives in 95 minutes and they will give their lives. All together,” Guardiola said.
“To do this is an incredible privilege for all of us after being here for many years. An incredible privilege to have the chance with our people at home to win one game to be champion. I am looking forward to it.”
All eyes on Liverpool
Liverpool’s game in-hand is away at Southampton on Tuesday (watch live, 2:45pm ET on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com) and a defeat for Jurgen Klopp’s side would hand City the title.
“I would say beat Liverpool 4-0!” Guardiola joked. “It is not about that. It doesn’t matter what happens in both games and I’m pretty sure mentally I’m thinking they’re going to make six points. It is in our hands. Now the debate is over if they win or lose. It depends on us to do the best, perfect game as possible as we can do.
“I encourage all the ‘Blue people’ in Manchester that day. Go to the streets, go to the stadium, go there because they know we are going to give absolutely everything to win that game. They will be so proud. I’m pretty sure of that.”
Will Guardiola be watching the game on Tuesday?
“I don’t know my plan. Next Sunday I will be in the Etihad Stadium for sure. If I am at home I will take a look for sure” Guardiola added.
Guardiola is counting on Liverpool to win their final two games which is exactly what he should do and anything else is a bonus which makes his life slightly easier.