Pep expects City’s winning run to end

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said he is surprised with his side’s stellar form while other teams are dropping points but believes their unbeaten streak will be broken one day. 

City are on an 18-match unbeaten run in all competitions, following Sunday’s 1-0 win at Arsenal, and have taken control of the title race with a 10-point lead at the top of the table. 

Guardiola’s side, who suffered their last defeat in November, have 59 points from 25 games after Raheem Sterling’s early goal handed them their 13th successive league victory. 

“The record will be broken one day, we will lose games,” Guardiola said after the win at the Emirates Stadium. 

“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. 

“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.” 

Guardiola said City’s record goalscorer Sergio Aguero, who has not played since Jan. 3 due to a combination of injuries and Covid-19, was edging closer to a return. 

“I’m looking forward to putting him in the side,” the Spaniard said. “We cannot forget that he was a long time injured and you only get rhythm when you play minutes. 

“As soon as I can, he will play because he deserves it and I want it. I want to say for him to keep working hard because his time is coming.” 

Meanwhile, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not giving up hope that Manchester United can challenge Manchester City for the English Premier League title, despite the scintillating form of the league leaders. 

City have soared 10 points clear of their local rivals thanks to an 18-game winning streak in all competitions. 

United’s own inconsistent form has helped open up the gap, but the Red Devils beat Newcastle 3-1 on Sunday to win for just the second time in six league games. 

“We’ve got to be there just in case,” said Solskjaer. “Every time we get three points we’ve done our job and that’s what we’ve got to do and see what other teams do.” 

Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford were again on target on a night United needed their star men to paper over the cracks of another unconvincing performance. 

Solskjaer made five changes to the side that impressively thrashed Real Sociedad 4-0 in the Europa League last Thursday and was lucky not to be punished for a disjointed start from the hosts. 

“We had to find a way to win it in the second-half. The first-half wasn’t up to the standard that we wanted,” added Solskjaer.

“Maybe because of Newcastle, maybe because of what we did in the week. We asked them to go again after a high-intensity game and it took us to half time to get our legs and energy.” 

A run of two wins in 14 games has left Newcastle just three points clear of the drop zone, but Steve Bruce remains confident his side will survive. 

“Fulham have had a good week and won a couple of games, which at the bottom end of the table is big, but there are a few of us: Brighton, Burnley and maybe Crystal Palace looking over their shoulders,” said Bruce. 

“My message to the supporters is that I’m convinced we’ll be OK.” 

Poor goalkeeping cost Bruce’s men the opening goal on the half-hour mark as Rashford wriggled free inside the area, but his shot should have been kept out by Karl Darlow. — AFP.

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