“It’s easy!” Guardiola on winning league title
Ahead of the Manchester City-Arsenal clash, City boss Pep Guardiola jokes that winning a first Premier League title is easy.
The game that could very well be the Premier League title decider is on today. Arsenal is heading to the Etihad to take on Manchester City, sitting five points ahead of them at the table...for now.
Three draws in a row for Arsenal put City in a dangerously close position to steal the lead away, something they wouldn’t do immediately after today’s game, but a win would give them a much higher chance of it, and a loss would put Arsenal in a much better position of keeping it.
Guardiola on winning the title: “It’s easy”
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is no stranger to this game. He has won league titles in three different countries - Spain, Germany, and England. Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, on the other hand, has yet to win a title as a manager. Here’s how Guardiola responded when asked how difficult it is to achieve a league title for the first time:
“Our first league title was 100 points. So it was not difficult,” he said with a smirk and then a toungue-out wink. “Well, at Bayern Munich, we won in February, and at Barcelona, we won it four games in advance as well...it’s easy.”
Guardiola winked to the reporter again, who said, “if it’s you, it’s easy?” to which Guardiola said, “of course!”
And of course, this was in jest. He might make it look easy, but Guardiola’s point here was that no matter how many times you win a league title, it’s no less difficult to achieve.
“The challenge is there,” said Guardiola. “What a pleasure again to be here. What an honor. All the UK will watch, all over the world will see our stadium. People support us unconditionally as they know what we have done over these seasons.”
City are heavy favorites against Arsenal
Opta has Manchester City as the heavy favorites to win, with a 78.1% chance to Arsenal’s 21.9%. It’s not a big shock - Arsenal haven’t beaten City at the Etihad since 2015, have lost the last 11 games against them, and have scored just three goals to the 17 they’ve conceded in City’s territory.
However, Guardiola knows that it’s not all about the statistics or what things look like on paper. Arsenal, who’s five points clear of City after their three successive ties, will be coming into the game with extra fight.
“I know how difficult it will be. Suffer in the bad moments and try to do it,” said Guardiola. “We will have to play well but perfection doesn’t exist in football.”