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Guardiola insists three teams still in title hunt despite Liverpool slip-up

SoccerNews in English Premier League 25 Apr 2024

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Pep Guardiola insists Liverpool remain in the Premier League title race, despite the Reds losing further ground on Arsenal and Manchester City in a dramatic few days at the summit.

Liverpool suffered a surprise 2-0 defeat to Merseyside rivals Everton on Wednesday, a result which meant they failed to close the gap to Arsenal after the Gunners thrashed Chelsea 5-0 on Tuesday.

While Jurgen Klopp’s men couldn’t respond to the Gunners pulling clear, City did on Thursday, with Phil Foden scoring twice in an emphatic 4-0 win over Brighton at the Amex Stadium.

One point behind Arsenal with a game in hand, City know five wins from their five remaining matches will seal an unprecedented fourth successive English top-flight title.

However, Guardiola expects further twists and turns in the coming weeks.

Asked if Liverpool were still in contention after City’s win, Guardiola told Sky Sports: “Yeah. Many things can happen.

“What happened with Liverpool, losing to Crystal Palace and Everton, can happen to us. It can happen to Arsenal. No-one is safe. We have to rest. Now it is just about recovering for the next one.

“We have been here in the past but being here in the past doesn’t mean it is going to happen. We have to do the things to make it happen.”

City’s comprehensive win – in which Kevin De Bruyne scored his first headed goal in the Premier League – saw them cut Arsenal’s goal difference advantage to eight goals.

However, Guardiola believes it will be tough for City to close that gap, saying: “It is difficult to cut. The margin is so big. They score a lot of goals and don’t concede.

“The main thing is to win the games. We have five games left and they are tough ones – it’s a lot of games. We’ll take it one game at a time.”

Foden’s first goal against Brighton – a deflected free-kick – saw him become just the third player to score 50 top-flight goals under Guardiola while aged 23 or younger, after Erling Haaland and Lionel Messi.

Foden is the favourite to be named Premier League Player of the Season, and while Guardiola believes he should be in contention, he says his player is more concerned with team honours.

“For sure, but he wants to win the Premier League,” Guardiola said when asked if Foden deserved individual honours. “His influence in the final third was better than in the last two or three games. Today he was more calm, his decision-making was good and to score goals is always good.”

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