EPL title still in our hands: Guardiola

The destiny of the English title remains in the hands of Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, however, and they know that if they win their remaining five games, they will retain their title.
The destiny of the English title remains in the hands of Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, however, and they know that if they win their remaining five games, they will retain their title.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Little over 60 hours after their extraordinary Champions League drama, Manchester City and Tottenham will face each other again at the Etihad Stadium tomorrow, this time in the Premier League.

City's dream of a quadruple of titles ended with their away-goals loss to Spurs on Wednesday.

The destiny of the English title remains in the hands of Pep Guardiola's side, however, and they know that if they win their remaining five games, they will retain their title.

Yet this is now a major test of their character after what was a crushing exit from Europe. A late Raheem Sterling goal that would have sent City through was ruled out for offside following a review by the video assistant referee.

Said Guardiola: "We have to stand up and react. It is a (short) time and the same team. We can't think too much now. We have to try to sleep as much as possible and prepare for the game."

City have won the League Cup and will face Watford in the final of the FA Cup, meaning a treble remains a realistic objective.

"We have fought for nine or 10 months in the Premier League and still we are there. It is in our hands. Today is tough and tomorrow will be tough too but, the day after, we will be ready," added the Spaniard.

City are on 83 points and two behind leaders Liverpool, but have a game in hand - although it is at city rivals Manchester United next Wednesday.

Liverpool will expect to pick up three points at Cardiff on Sunday, although the 18th-placed team have been boosted by Tuesday's win at Brighton that kept alive their hopes of avoiding relegation.

City winger Bernardo Silva said there is no time to wallow in misery, as he rallied his teammates to give a final push for domestic glory.

"We have a game in three days against Tottenham, again here at home," said the 24-year-old.

"We need the three points to win (the league). Obviously, we are very disappointed, but we will have to forget about it and go for the competitions we are still in.

"It is not time for revenge; it is time for another competition, time to keep us alive in the title race.

"We will try to win the game in the same way we did, knowing we are playing against a very good team.

"We know Liverpool will probably win all their games, so we have to win all our games too."

Third-placed Spurs have plenty to play for as well. The battle for a top-four finish and qualification for the Champions League is tight with Arsenal and Chelsea just a point behind and sixth-placed United three points adrift.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2019, with the headline 'EPL title still in our hands: Guardiola'. Print Edition | Subscribe