Manchester City must make a flying start on their return to Premier League action after falling behind Arsenal in the title race, says winger Riyad Mahrez.
City travel to Leeds United for their first league game since the World Cup on Wednesday, trailing leaders Arsenal by five points ahead of the Gunners’ clash with West Ham on Monday.
Pep Guardiola’s team lost 2-1 to Brentford in their last game in the competition, and are looking to avoid suffering consecutive league defeats for the first time since December 2018.
Mahrez, who was on target as City eliminated Liverpool from the EFL Cup with a 3-2 win on Thursday, is aware of the importance of Wednesday’s trip to Elland Road.
“We have to hit the ground running,” Mahrez told the club’s website. “We are not currently top of the Premier League and that is where we want to be.
“We will take it game by game but our aim is to try to win another title.
“There are lots of strong teams in England who could still win the league so we are not just focused on Arsenal, although they have been very good so far.
“If we want to win the league, we will have to be ready as soon as the league starts again.
“Leeds are a big club and it’s a hard place to go, but we know what to expect from them. We will be prepared for it and hopefully we can come away with the three points.”
City won their two Premier League fixtures against Leeds last season by an aggregate score of 11-0 – including a 4-0 triumph at Elland Road. The champions are looking to win on consecutive trips to Leeds for the first time since September 2000.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 23, 2022
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