‘I didn’t expect to be in this position’ – Pep Guardiola admits surprise at this season’s title race but warns his side to not be ‘extremely satfisfied’

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes that his side are ‘struggling in some positions’ and has admitted that he ‘didn’t expect’ to be so far ahead in the title race with half of the season still to play.

The Spaniard’s side are eight points clear of second-placed Chelsea at the top of the Premier League and can extend that lead to 11 points if they defeat Arsenal at the Emirates later today – with Liverpool travelling to Stamford Bridge tomorrow.

“When you win the Premier League, it is the most important title,” the former Bayern Munich boss said (via the Liverpool Echo).

“During the season, you have many different circumstances you can overcome. We are playing without Kyle Walker, and he’s been so important for us many, many times and now Rodri has been out for two games – maybe three. We don’t have central defenders: John is injured. We are struggling in some positions, but it’s how you overcome this.

“Don’t think about the long runs, it’s a stupid thing to think about how many games you are going to win. It’s just about what’s next, being ready and the most important thing is the desire, commitment and the team saying ‘Ok, I want to do it’.

“I didn’t expect to be in this position one month ago when we were four, five, six points behind Chelsea and Liverpool. When everything is [taken] for granted you are 4-0 [against Leicester] and everything is granted. And in 20 minutes, you are 4-3. If we don’t score the fifth goal, I assure you this game could not be won.

“Don’t be extremely satisfied when the situation is good and not extremely depressed because with the amount of games in the competition, and I learned a little bit last season with the Covid situation, being relaxed is the best way to approach the next game.”

Guardiola is right to not get too excited just yet, but his side are playing very well and their rivals are dropping points fairly regularly.

Chelsea and Liverpool are second and third in the league and one of them, if not both, will lose more ground in the title race this weekend if City earn all three points against Mikel Arteta’s side in today’s lunchtime kick-off.

When we travel to Stamford Bridge tomorrow, three points are a must if we are to keep our title hopes alive.

Increasing the points gap between ourselves and the Manchester club to double figures would somewhat end the title race as City rarely look like dropping points when they play.

We need to focus on ourselves and ensure we put in a big performance tomorrow.

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