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Pep Guardiola happy for City to keep title destiny in their own hands

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is closing in on another title (Zac Goodwin/PA)
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is closing in on another title (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Pep Guardiola reiterated that Manchester City’s destiny remains in their own hands after their 4-0 victory over Fulham helped them return to the top of the Premier League table.

City’s victory has seen them move two points clear of Arsenal who travel to Manchester United on Sunday.

Defender Josko Gvardiol netted a brace either side of Phil Foden’s finish, before Julian Alvarez scored a penalty in second-half added-time.

If Arsenal drop points on Sunday, City could wrap up what would be a fourth straight title with a victory at Tottenham on Tuesday, with the final round of fixtures to follow next weekend.

“Since they (Arsenal) lost against Aston Villa the destiny is in our hands,” Guardiola told a press conference at Craven Cottage.

“In the last game (of the season) against West Ham the destiny is in our hands and that is what we want. It will be difficult but we are ready for the challenge.

“My players like to play with pressure, they are used to it. The players enjoy this feeling.

Manchester City’s Josko Gvardiol celebrates scoring
Manchester City’s Josko Gvardiol celebrated scoring (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“This season is the same, don’t think about anything other than the next game. Focus on winning the next game and then we will see what happens. We go to London and try to win.”

Makeshift left-back Gvardiol played a one-two with Kevin De Bruyne before he netted a clinical strike past Bernd Leno on 13 minutes.

The Croatia international doubled his tally in the second half when he stretched in the six-yard area to convert Bernardo Silva’s cross.

Guardiola credited the versatile defender’s opener but insisted his second-half performance needed to be better.

When asked what he expected from the 22-year-old when he joined from Leipzig last summer, Guardiola added: “I expected him to score some headers from set-pieces. He scored a fantastic goal and we played well in many aspects, there’s two games left.

Fulham v Manchester City – Premier League – Craven Cottage
Guardiola knows City’s destiny is in their hands (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“In the second half he didn’t play good. he lost a lot of duels. As a defender the most important thing is to be safe.

“They need to play so simple but this is the most difficult thing to do in football. His job is to be safe.”

Fulham struggled to find a rhythm in west London as they failed to breakdown City’s back four.

And Cottagers boss Marco Silva believes his side needed to be more aggressive if they were to have disrupted City’s title bid.

“It was a tough game as we expected,” Silva said.

“We have to do much better for the four goals. The first is a simple combination and we have to be more aggressive.

“When you concede goals like this against a top side like City, it makes everything a lot more difficult for us.”