Guardiola: Premier League title race similar to Barca-Madrid battles

The manager said that in both instances, the pressure is on to win nearly every game

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes the Premier League title race is similar to what he experienced when battling Real Madrid with Barcelona in La Liga.

Guardiola won three league titles in four seasons at Barca, holding off Madrid on each occasion before the capital club clinched the crown in 2011-12.

The Spaniard sees similarities in England, where City trail Liverpool by a point through 16 games, although Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal are also well in contention.

Guardiola said the pressure of needing to win almost every game was comparable to his experience at Barca.

“It’s quite similar, it can have that feeling, it’s just trying to win every game, you are in front, try to keep the moment, the players know it,” he said.

“Not just Liverpool – Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, [Manchester] United can join us. We knew it from the beginning, everyone had that feeling, everyone had it. We had the feeling not just Man City but others – maybe we are going to drop a few points.

“But the feeling is quite similar, Madrid was always demanding a lot, we have to win and we knew it.

“We can lose games against Real Madrid but we had to win against the others – or we are not able to win the title – 99 points, 96 points, a lot of points.”

City host Everton on Saturday and can put the pressure back on Liverpool, who welcome Manchester United to Anfield a day later.

Guardiola said his team needed to capitalise on every opportunity, with Liverpool aiming to win a first league title since 1990.

“Liverpool and United, the two biggest clubs, 27 years without winning it is many years, I’d say the challenge is to their own history, for them it’s important, but they’re a top side, a top team for the last year,” he said.

“Eight or nine years playing really well, so competitive and losing few points.

“I don’t know the feeling. They are going to drop few points so we have to be there to be close to them and catch up to them.”

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