Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has cited Arsenal’s UEFA Europa League campaign as the reason why the Gunners will drop points this season. The Spanish boss insists the Premier League title race is still open, while stating the hectic schedule of European fixtures for both English outfits could pose a problem.
Guardiola said (via football.london):
“Many games, still many things are going to happen. I know how good they are, I know we cannot drop points, but now they are starting to play Europa League as well. Many things are going to happen. They are going to drop points. We are going to drop points. The team who drops less points will be champions.”
Arsenal and Manchester City have been dominating the top two spots in the Premier League table this season. The Gunners have emerged as fresh title contenders this term after City and Liverpool’s dominance in the English top tier in recent times.
Mikel Arteta’s side currently lead the title race with a two-point lead over the Cityzens, with the Gunners also having a game in hand. Arsenal have won 18 of their 24 league fixtures this season.
Their most recent victory came against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday (25 February). The north London outfit secured a 1-0 victory over the Foxes after Gabriel Martinelli found the back of the net early in the second half.
Arsenal have faced Manchester City once this season, a disappointing 3-1 loss that saw them temporarily drop down to second place. The Gunners will face the Cityzens in the reverse fixture at the Etihad on 27 April.
“Back to some basics” – Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta shares thoughts after Leicester win
Arsenal seem to have recovered from a recent slump, where they failed to secure a win in three consecutive league fixtures for the first time this season. The Gunners ended their winless run with an emphatic 4-2 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park last weekend.
Arteta has attributed the last two away victories to his team going back to the fundamentals. Following their win over Leicester, the Spaniard said (per the club’s official website):
“Really important obviously, it creates more belief, more belief in the players, more belief around our club, and externally, I had full faith the players could do it, it was coming back to some basics and some details that can get games away from us, we made it much more than what we got. In the last two games, especially today, we’ve done those things much better.”
The Gunners will next face Everton at home on March 1.