As Manchester City edges closer to the Premier League’s pinnacle, potentially surpassing Arsenal if they triumph over Fulham this Sunday, coach Pep Guardiola remains cautious. Despite City’s impressive track record with nine victories out of their last ten league games, and their recent 4-1 win over current leaders Arsenal, Guardiola refuses to declare the championship race as finished.
In his conversation with the press on Friday, Guardiola insisted that the match against Fulham, currently holding the 10th position, will not be taken lightly. He said, “Some may claim the race is over, but it isn’t. The final whistle will only sound when the time comes. With seven more games to go, we need to stay focused on our game. Fulham is a formidable team with a unique stadium, and we won’t underestimate them.”
Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City’s Belgian midfield maestro, earned high praise from Guardiola for his extraordinary performance against Arsenal, where he scored two goals and provided an assist. Guardiola also emphasized the importance of ensuring De Bruyne’s well-being amidst a demanding schedule, which led to his substitution in the second half against Arsenal.
Guardiola went on to explain, “We can’t expect every player to consistently perform at their peak over a ten-year period with games every three days, and just a three-week break before pre-season starts. Sometimes, a break is beneficial, not as a punishment but to refresh the mind. Kevin sets incredibly high standards for himself and always shows his passion for football whenever he gets the chance.”
On the topic of Dutch defender Nathan Ake, who suffered a hamstring injury against Bayern Munich, Guardiola confirmed his condition is improving, though he has yet to rejoin the team for training.