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Guardiola after Man City win over Brentford: “There are 54 points to play for.”

Updated: Jan 1, 2022

The Cityzens tightened their grip at the top of the Premier League table with a narrow win against Brentford on Wednesday night.

Guardiola is delighted with how Man City have won 2021
Guardiola is delighted with how Man City have ended 2021

Pep Guardiola was delighted with how Manchester City took command of the Premier League title race by beating Brentford to extend the gap at the top of the table to eight points, but the Spaniard isn’t getting carried away, saying there are 54 points to play for.

Phil Foden's first-half tap in proved to be the difference against the Bees on Wednesday night at the Brentford Community Stadium. The hosts started the game with a high tempo, forcing goalkeeper Ederson to make vital saves especially Yoane Wissa's deflected effort, and left-back Joao Cancelo also had to clear the forward's shot off the line a few minutes later. And within 53 seconds, the defending champions attacked the other end to take the lead as Foden calmly finished off a superb cross from midfield maestro Kevin de Bruyne. The England international Foden scored again at the start of the second half, but the goal was ruled out for offside. De Bruyne showed his class as he always does and he was close to making it 2-0 but he saw his effort hit the post before defender Aymeric Laporte's headed goal was cancelled by VAR. Following the match Man City boss Guardiola told BBC Sport: "For the way they played it was the best performance. We cannot play better when they play in this way. They were high pressing and it made it difficult for us to build up. After when they defend deep it is incredibly difficult as they are so organised. You cannot go inside as there are no spaces. When a team defend this way it is so difficult. You see how the other teams come here and they suffer. I know it. How many chances they create from corners, from throw-ins. We didn't concede once or a shot on target in the second half. "People expect that we will score four goals after 23 minutes. That is not the reality, that is the exception. The reality is this type of game. In some games you have to play one way, in others you play a different way. If you play quicker than usual they can make the transition with Ivan Toney and the other guys and you suffer. They create the counter-attacks and fee-kicks and throw-ins and at this they are the best team in the Premier League. Statistically this is the best team. We compete and we adjust something at half-time. "There are 54 points to play for. It is not expected to have this distance for eight and nine, but Liverpool play one game less. But it is 54 points. In December no one is champion. We are going to lose games. I see in my mind, Arsenal, Chelsea, Southampton coming. We have a game in London against Arsenal, maybe one of the top teams right now. The best Arsenal in the last four or five years. I cannot say more than congratulations to the team but we must focus."

'It is 365 days of being consistent'

Guardiola added: "The important thing is that we stay stable and get results and play good. There are some games when the opponent decide to make an incredible high pressing. It will be difficult. Men to men. When they decide to set back this way, with literally 11 players in the 18 yard box we need to be patient." On the most Premier League wins in a calendar year, the Spaniard said: "It means how good was this year. We won the Premier League, Carabao Cup, in the final of the Champions League. It is a big success. Being there. The victories we have done means it is not just one night. It is 365 days of being consistent. This is the best title we can get as a team."

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