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Pep Guardiola hails Arsenal’s crucial loss as giving Man City a step up to the title

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City’s Premier League “fate” is “in our hands” since rivals Arsenal were beaten by Aston Villa in mid-April.

The holders, who are aiming for a fourth straight win, returned to the top of the table on Saturday with an easy 4-0 win at Fulham powered by two goals from defender Josko Gvardiol.

Man City are two points behind Arsenal, who can return to first place on Sunday afternoon if they win against Manchester United. However, the Cityzens have a game to play against Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday – a win there would put City in a good position heading into the final day of the season.

City and Arsenal are now separated by just two goals after a big win at Craven Cottage, but Guardiola pointed to the Gunners’ 2-0 defeat at Villa as the key moment that gave his side a leg up in the title race.

He said: “The goal difference won’t be there I think. I think in order to participate, you have to play a draw, that means they will win. That means the difference will be three or four at the top. [from us] so I don’t think it will be a clear thing this season. Yes, we got three, four or five points this time – we got five or more at most, but it’s not about that.

Fulham FC v Manchester City - Premier League

Phil Foden was among the goalscorers against Fulham/Gaspafotos/MB Media/GettyImages

“Since they lost against Aston Villa, the fate is in our hands. We are in control, that’s what we want, and since then against Aston Villa the fate is in our hands, that’s what we want.

“For that, you have to win the games we have won in the past, especially the tough ones – Nottingham Forest, with a little recovery. It is always difficult at Fulham, now we have to go to Spurs where I have never won. [in the Premier League]. It’s going to be tough, but we’re ready.”

Arsenal must now win at Old Trafford – a venue where they have won just one of their 16 Premier League games since 2007/08 – and hope City will fail against Tottenham and West Ham United to secure their 14th top-flight title high.


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