Belfast Telegraph

City boss Guardiola full of praise as team close in on Premier League title

 

By Robert Jones

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola hailed a clinical performance against Arsenal that edges his side closer to the Premier League title.

City inflicted more pain on Gunners boss Arsene Wenger with a second crushing 3-0 victory over his side in the space of four days.

After losing Sunday's Carabao Cup final, Arsenal could not find any level of retribution as they were again humbled by far superior opposition in Guardiola's 100th game in charge.

Bernardo Silva, David Silva and Leroy Sane all scored wonderful first-half goals for City, who now require only five more wins to secure the title.

The Gunners were better than they were at Wembley but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's second-half penalty miss summed up their current form.

Guardiola said: "Mentally we were strong. We were clinical. We scored three outstanding goals. After that it was not easy - the first 15 minutes of the second half we were poor. Still, it's an amazing result for us.

"We are out of the FA Cup and we won the League Cup. Now it's just two competitions and you fight for one of them for 10 months.

"These are the last steps to be champions, you keep going until the end.

"We have to win five games. We don't think too much. Now we play Chelsea. Hopefully we have the desire to win, to be the best team in England. We forget that we are tired. It's so difficult to win two games in a row against a team like Arsenal, and we did it in tough conditions.

"The first five minutes and then the first 15-20 minutes of the second half we were not so good, but it was so important to win again and take another step forward.

"We want to be champions and every game we win we go nearer.

"They were all nice goals and Ederson was outstanding, saving the penalty, because the game was not won."

City's 16-point lead at the top of the Premier League is restored.

They are 30 points ahead of Arsenal, who are 10 points off the top four. Points-wise, they are closer to bottom club West Brom than they are to the league leaders.

City ace Bernardo Silva said: "It was a great game for us, especially the first half.

"We were focused. We're very happy to stay 16 points ahead of Manchester United.

"My goal was great play from Leroy Sane. I had space on my left foot and I cut in and shot.

"It was a good goal, I'm happy with that. We want to win the league as fast as we can."

Gunners boss Wenger admitted that confidence was low in his camp.

"I feel we put a lot of effort in tonight," he said.

"We played with low confidence, you could see that at the start of the game and we paid for it.

"We needed the penalty to go in, but that was another negative for us. We lost to a team that is the best in the country at the moment."

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