‘Before it was bye, now hello’ – Guardiola expects back-and-forth title battle
Pep Guardiola believes his team cleared an “important” hurdle after a 2-0 win over Newcastle United allowed Manchester City to pile pressure back onto Arsenal.
Goals from Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva saw City come out on top in the first Premier League game of the weekend.
The victory trimmed Arsenal’s lead to two points just minutes before the Gunners kicked off against Bournemouth, and there are likely to be plenty more twists and turns to come in the title race, as Guardiola acknowledged.
His post-match comments also seemed to indicate he believes Manchester United are in the mix, too.
“Before the game it was ‘bye’, now we are ‘hello’,” Guardiola told BT Sport. “Many things are going to happen.
“Today was an important game, and tomorrow we are going to sit in front of the TV to watch Anfield [Liverpool against United]. That’s what we are going to do.”
Silva’s clinching goal ensured it was ultimately a routine City win, although the champions were less dominant than they had been against Nottingham Forest a fortnight earlier when they conceded a late equaliser.
Guardiola recognised his team had to “suffer” as Newcastle applied pressure in the second half, with Silva delighted to come through a tough test.
“Throughout this season we have had very good moments,” Silva told BBC Sport, “and then for one reason or another we’ve slipped in weird ways in weird games.
“We’re trying to get back to the momentum where the team feels good and that it is in a good run, step by step and game by game.”
Assessing the title race, the City midfielder added: “I prefer to be first; it’s much better [than second].
“Arsenal are in a much better position than us, but we’re going to try to control just what we can. If we focus too much on if they will slip or not, we will slip ourselves.”