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Guardiola says Manchester City players must be ‘more focused than ever’ ahead of title decider

Pep Guardiola has been speaking ahead of Manchester City's title decider on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola says his players have to be “more focused than ever” if they want to win the Premier League title for a fourth consecutive season.

The champions can complete another successive defence of their crown with a win against West Ham on Sunday, but the Spanish boss is under no illusions as to how hard the match will be.

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If City slip up in any form, Arsenal will be ready to pounce. A win at home to Everton is the most Mikel Arteta and his men can do, but if the Manchester club draw and the Gunners win, the title will be decided on goal difference.

Speaking ahead of the match, Guardiola said: “We want to experience it again and we have to perform.

“You can’t think ‘we want to win it’, you have to do something to [earn] it, you have to be resilient in the bad moments like what happened against Aston Villa [in 2022] and against Spurs in the last game.

“Don’t talk about the consequences, just what you have to do to win, to control it, the transitions, the coolness, the set-pieces, the long balls – how you defend every single ball.

“There’s a lot of stuff that West Ham demand that you have to do, and you have to do it perfect. These are the only things on my mind.

“I don’t want to play the game thinking about the consequences, what will happen if. We have to be focused more than ever and feel the support of our people – this is what we need to think about.

“Thinking about Arsenal losing at Manchester United [last week], forget about it. If you are thinking Everton are going to do something [at Arsenal on Sunday], forget about it.”

City did the hard part by winning away to Tottenham on Tuesday night – a ground they had yet to record a league victory at.

It was a tough outing but they got the job done thanks to a brace from Erling Haaland.

There was a moment in the game where Heung-Min Son was through one-on-one with the opportunity to level proceedings, but substitute goalkeeper Stefan Ortega pulled out a brilliant save.

It left Guardiola on the floor in a state of emotion and he admits there was so much relief in the camp after the match.

He added: “I saw the reaction in the locker room at Spurs. They were relieved, wow, but there were not extra celebrations or something like that.

“They were happy but incredibly calm, nothing more special than another game in the Premier League.

“They knew it gave us a chance for the final day of the season.”

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Mitch Fretton

Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.