Pep Guardiola has told Man City they must not expect Liverpool to drop any points before the end of the season – apart from when they visit the Etihad Stadium next weekend.
On Saturday, the Man City manager saw his side win 2-0 at Burnley to return to the top of the Premier League after being deposed for a couple of hours by Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.
First-half goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan gave City the points at Turf Moor.
“We got the points, and there are eight games left… 24 [points].
“Hopefully, Liverpool will lose against us, but apart from that, I don’t think they’re going to drop points.
“We have to feel this pressure, live it and handle it. We have to win eight games. Otherwise, we will not be champions.”
Guardiola’s objective is to keep his players’ minds away from the prospects of winning trophies and drill them to focus on the importance of the next game.
For City, the next task now is a Champions League quarter-final first leg at home to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.
“We have to feel the pressure,” Guardiola said.
“We have to concentrate on the Champions League, and then we have five days to prepare for Liverpool.”
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss added:
“To be honest, we don’t speak much about being contenders to champion this season.”
The City always came out on top at Turf Moor against a relegation-threatened side, given they had won their past nine meetings with Burnley in all competitions by an aggregate score of 32-1.
Guardiola lamented City for not bolstering their goal difference even further as they failed to put away any of their 12 shots in the second half, while he said Burnley’s grass was long and made his team’s task a challenge.
Raheem Sterling provided assists for both goals, and his performance pleased Guardiola.
As did the fact the forward got to captain England against Ivory Coast during the international break.
“Raheem came back from the national team with the boost of a goal and being the captain for England.
“We saw today how decisive he was with all the decisions, and he played with the assists from the right side and showed speed and everything.
“I have the feeling he is arriving at a perfect moment.”
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