Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has taken credit for Liverpool’s march toward claiming their first Premier League title.
Manchester City are 17 points adrift of league leaders Liverpool and will be looking to beat Arsenal at the Emirates today. And as City’s hopes of winning three straight Premier League titles begin to fade, Pep Guardiola feel his side are victims of their own success.
The Spaniard believes the high points totals the Citizens have set over the past two seasons have set a new benchmark for the league.
Last season City pipped Liverpool to the title by a single point as they reached a total of 98 points.
And the season before City comfortably won the title when they reached 100 points.
“I think maintaining 100 points or 98 points for three or four years would be difficult,” said Guardiola.
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“I didn’t want to think about it too much at the beginning of the season, but I thought maybe we would be able to do it again.
“When we arrived here, the standard was 85 points to win the Premier League. Now you have to reach almost 100 points to win it.
“That’s how we helped Liverpool to make this step, to buy incredible top players and now it is the level you have to reach.
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“All the teams that are behind Liverpool, we know we have to make 100 points. Before, it didn’t happen and we were the reason why. For 11 years, no one won back-to-back titles and then we did it by winning 14 games in a row last season.”
Over the last two seasons City had only lost a total of six games from 76 league matches, however, Guardiola’s men have struggled this campaign.
City have already lost four games, while Liverpool remain undefeated, with the Reds only blip on maintaining a perfect record coming from a 1-1 draw against Manchester United.
And ahead of City’s trip to the Emirates, Guardiola has admitted his squad may have to suffer adversity this season in order for them to rediscover the motivation needed to challenge for the title next season.
“People say that now we are not good, but I cannot forget what this team has done,” said Guardiola.
“Sometimes in a process, in NBA teams, in incredible tennis players, there are problems or periods in the season when you struggle a little bit.
“To stay at the level we created for three, four , five years is so difficult and now we are struggling a bit because we have an opponent (Liverpool) that doesn’t drop points.
“After four titles in one season, maybe we believed we were something we are not and the reality of sport is to make you go again, again and again. Sometimes you have live it.
“But we will still try to challenge and improve the situation. If they drop points, we will be closer – and anything can happen in December.
“I don’t think about Liverpool now – they are too far away.
“To take Liverpool we first have to think about Leicester , but our target is just winning the next game against Arsenal.
“I would be really concerned if our game was not there. I would worry. But the games where we dropped points we know why.”