Pep ‘surprised’ by Man City’s winning run
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he is surprised by his side’s imperious run of form “when everyone is suffering in this world” as they extended their winning run to 18 games with victory at Arsenal.
The Premier League leaders have not dropped a point since 15 December and have taken control of the title race as they sit 10 points clear at the top of the table with 13 games remaining.
Like other teams, they have had to deal with a congested fixture list as well Covid-19 cases within the club as the world continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
Guardiola said: “I’m surprised and impressed and so when everyone is suffering in this world, all the teams in the league are dropping points, we were consistent over the past two months and I did not expect [that].
“People talk and talk about the record and the victories but to do this you have to win these types of games many, many times.
“It is not always about winning by three or four because that is not possible.”
City looked confident right from the outset at Arsenal, taking the lead with just two minutes on the clock as Raheem Sterling somehow managed to outjump Rob Holding to head in Riyad Mahrez’s cross.
The visitors had four shots to Arsenal’s none in the opening quarter of an hour and it looked as if the Gunners were in danger of being on the end of a heavy defeat as Guardiola’s side poured forward at every opportunity.
To Arsenal’s credit, they weathered that early storm and grew into the game as Kieran Tierney tested Ederson with a strong effort from distance, while there were glimpses of a threat on the break through the pace of Bukayo Saka.
City failed to kick on after the break although still looked the most likely to add to their lead as Kevin de Bruyne – making his first start in more than a month – lifted an effort just wide while Ilkay Gundogan saw a shot saved by Bernd Leno before Joao Cancelo clipped a lovely strike inches past the post late on.
In the end, a second goal was not needed as City took the three points to ensure they stay in control at the top of the standings.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are 10th and six points off the top six.