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Premier League | Gameweek 15
Dec 6, 2023 at 8.15pm UK
Villa Park
Manchester City logo
Aston Villa
1 - 0
Man City
Bailey (74')
Watkins (60'), Kamara (87')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Stones (45'), Lewis (53')

Pep Guardiola: 'Manchester City will retain Premier League title'

Pep Guardiola: 'Man City will retain Premier League title'
© Reuters
Pep Guardiola believes that his Manchester City side "are going to win the Premier League" title for a fourth successive season despite their recent dip in form.

Pep Guardiola has insisted that his Manchester City side "are going to win the Premier League" title this season despite their recent dip in form.

The Citizens have surrendered top spot to Arsenal following a run of three successive draws with Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, with Guardiola's side now sitting third in the table and three points behind the Gunners at the summit.

Man City were forced to settle for just a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Spurs last weekend, but the game ended in controversial fashion as referee Simon Hooper blew his whistle for a foul on Erling Haaland after briefly playing advantage, denying Jack Grealish the chance to run through on goal.

The decision sparked an enraged reaction from several City players who swarmed round Hooper to vent their frustration, and Guardiola's side have since been charged by the Football Association for failing to control their players.

Haaland, meanwhile, is at risk of an individual FA charge and breaching Rule E3.1, which relates to social media comments or remarks made in the media, after posting "Wtf" along with a video of the incident on 'X' after the game.

Manchester City's Erling Haaland, Mateo Kovacic and Ruben Dias remonstrate with referee Simon Hooper on December 3, 2023© Reuters

Speaking at a press conference ahead of Wednesday's trip to Aston Villa, Guardiola has defended the reaction of his players and remains confident that Man City can win a record-breaking fourth successive Premier League title this season.

Asked if his players can use the controversy of the Spurs draw as motivation for the match with Villa, Guardiola said, as quoted by Sky Sports: "No, I never use these kinds of situations. Today, the motivation is to try to do it better. Sometimes the decisions help, sometimes they don't.

"I learned from where I come from that, if you want to win something, you have to do much, much better than your opponents.

"When you are level, you always have the feeling that it's not going to happen, so you have to do much, much better. This is what you have to do.

"My feeling today is we are going to win the Premier League. If you ask me, we are going to win the Premier League. If we play at the level we played against Liverpool and Tottenham, we are going to win it again.

"The people don't believe it already because of three draws, but we are going to do it again, knowing that it is not easy, because no team has done it yet [won four titles in a row].

"That's why the difficulty is there. But if you ask me today, 'what are you feeling?' We are going to do it again."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on December 3, 2023© Reuters

Man City enter Wednesday's clash with Villa having conceded 10 goals in their last four games across all competitions, and Guardiola has admitted that he is "concerned" by his team's recent performances at the back.

"I'm concerned about the goals conceded, definitely. Of course I am," said the Catalan boss. "But I'm saying that the average is lower than last season, the chances conceded in every single game except the Chelsea game.

"Chelsea created more than usual, but in the rest of the games, it's the same level as in the previous seasons when we won a lot of titles.

"We are at the same level as last season and in previous seasons in terms of the chances created as well. Even, I would say, a little bit higher."

Man City, who could be without Jeremy Doku for Wednesday's match, have won 10 of their last 11 meetings with Aston Villa, but Unai Emery's men boast a strong record on home soil as they have come out on top in 17 of their last 18 games at Villa Park in all competitions.

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2Manchester CityMan City26185359263359
4Aston Villa26164656352152
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs25145652381447
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd26142103636044
7Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2610974941839
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves26115104040038
9Newcastle UnitedNewcastle26114115445937
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2510693644-836
13Crystal Palace2677123144-1328
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2666143448-1424
18Luton TownLuton2555153551-1620
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2634192266-4413

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