UK: 18+ USA: 21+ | Begambleaware.org | T&Cs apply | Play Responsibly
Man City manager Pep Guardiola has claimed Arsenal are extra motivated to score late goals thanks to their huge Premier League title drought. The Gunners last lifted the Premier League trophy in the 2003/04 season, with City securing the title six times since then.
Arsenal have come closest most recently in 2015/16, finishing second behind champions Leicester, having finished third in the previous campaign. They have since faded from view, but are now back at the top of the standings, five points ahead of rivals Man City.
Man City boss singles out late Arsenal goals
Arsenal have won 21 of their 27 league matches this season, compared to City’s 19. The gap was reduced to just two points after Guardiola’s men beat Crystal Palace 1-0 on Saturday evening, before the Gunners restored the five-point gap by beating Fulham 3-0 on Sunday.
The straightforward victory for Mikel Arteta’s outfit came after a handful of dramatic late wins for the Gunners, a feat that rival boss Guardiola has singled out.
Arsenal scored in the 93rd and 98th minutes to defeat Aston Villa last month, before Reiss Nelson found the net in the 97th minute to snatch all three points against Bournemouth earlier this month.
“Still Arsenal are the favourites because they are in front,” said Guardiola, as reported by the Man City website. “They made an incredible first leg, they dropped a little bit but now they’re coming back.
“They have had many years not winning the Premier League and it gives you a little extra to win games in 93, 98 minutes.
“That is something they have that we don’t have because we won back-to-back two times. That’s why when people say about your opinion on the team and the season it’s after two times back-to-back and 50 points for our opponents in the first half still we are there.”
Man City ready for title fight
The Man City manager added that his players are more than prepared for a title fight in the weeks and months to come. The Manchester outfit still have to play the Gunners at home this season, and will be full of confidence having already defeated the opposition twice this year.
City overcame Arsenal 1-0 in the FA Cup fourth round at the Etihad in January, before easing past the Gunners 3-1 at the Emirates in league action a month later.
As well as facing each other, both Man City and Arsenal must also meet Liverpool, Chelsea and high-flying Brighton before the season ends.
The Gunners also have a tough test against Newcastle to come, with Man City having to visit both Fulham and Brentford, two clubs that have surprised many this season.
Guardiola continued: “Normally in this country when you win something a lot and you don’t start well or someone is a bit better, you drop it. You are not consistent. Still we are there. This is the best trophy and compliment that we can have.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen at the end of the season but still they know that we want to be there and we will fight to be there and this is great.”
FULL-TIME | 3️⃣ points ✅
🦅 0-1 🔵 #ManCity pic.twitter.com/rpbjHRX1lw
— Manchester City (@ManCity) March 11, 2023