‘If we don’t win all the games, Liverpool will be champions’: Pep
Pep Guardiola maintained that Manchester City have to complete a perfect run-in if they are to hold off Liverpool in the pulsating title race.
The defending Premier League champions overcame Brighton with three second-half goals from Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva.
The Etihad Stadium was nervous before Mahrez’s breakthrough but City went one point clear of Liverpool with six games remaining.
‘There are six games left and if we win all the games, we are champions,’ Guardiola said.
‘If we don’t win all the games, Liverpool will be champions. It’s simple. It happened years ago when we won 14 games in a row to be champions. If we drop points, they will be champions. ‘Liverpool are one of the best teams in the history of football. One of the best ever. The players know it. It’s a pity we didn’t win against them here because we were better. Now we don’t have the [ability] to drop anything now.’
Guardiola praised the supporters for remaining with his side, who patiently waited to find an opening goal.
Riyad Mahrez is City’s top scorer this season and he set them on their way against Brighton
‘I would say the fans were incredibly close to us,’ he added. ‘Sometimes they are more quiet.
They saw how hungry we were without the ball. The people in the stands see when the team is alive.
‘Today for the whole club is one of the most important days of the season because mathematically we will play in the Champions League next season. This is a huge success.
‘People take it for granted because we are City but look at the contenders, how many good teams there are.’
Guardiola was again contending with injuries, however, with Nathan Ake forced off at half-time after twisting his ankle.