Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Guardiola expects repeat of 2022 as Man City and Arsenal face title race finale

SoccerNews in English Premier League 17 May 2024

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Pep Guardiola has warned Manchester City to expect a repeat of the dramatic final day of 2021-22 when the Premier League title race goes to the wire on Sunday.

After beating Tottenham 2-0 in midweek, City know a victory at home to West Ham will secure a fourth straight title – a feat never previously achieved in English top-flight history.

Should City fail to win, Arsenal will leapfrog them and claim their first title since 2003-04 if they beat Everton at the Emirates Stadium.

Two of City’s previous five title wins under Guardiola were decided on the final day, as they edged out Liverpool at the death in 2018-19 and 2021-22.

On the latter occasion, they went 2-0 down at home to Aston Villa before three goals in five second-half minutes – two from Ilkay Gundogan and one from Rodri – completed a stunning turnaround.

While many onlookers have already written West Ham off, Guardiola does not think a repeat is out of the question on Sunday.

“I have the feeling it will be like the Aston Villa game again,” Guardiola said at Friday’s pre-match press conference.

“We would like to be 3-0 up after 10 minutes but it’s not going to happen. I’ve seen enough [West Ham matches].

“I’m ready for it to be a tough, tough game. I want to put in the minds of my players, ‘Look at Tottenham, how they fight for every ball, the aggression they had.’ I didn’t have any doubts about that.

“The 11 players of West Ham will be ready to beat us. Like Aston Villa two seasons ago, they didn’t play for anything but I know what happened.

“Ourselves and our people have to be ready from the first minute, to be with us and do it together.”

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