Pep Guardiola admits Man City's title battle may go to goal difference — again

By Mirror: Wednesday, February 6th 2019 at 13:36 GMT +3 | Premier League
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City's manager Pep Guardiola [Courtesy]

Pep Guardiola has told his free-scoring Manchester City side they must be merciless — in case the title comes down to goal difference.

City will leapfrog Liverpool and regain top spot in the Premier League table on Wednesday if they beat Everton at Goodison Park in a match brought forward from its original February 23 date because Guardiola's men are now playing in the Carabao Cup Final that weekend.

The reigning-champion Blues' goal difference is already five better than that of Jurgen Klopp’s men, and he is urging his side to extend that advantage over the coming weeks.

City famously snatched the title from local rivals Manchester United on goal difference in 2012 with Sergio Aguero’s dramatic 94th-minute strike on the final day of the season.

And Guardiola, who is convinced this season’s title race will go down to the final day on May 12, admitted it could could be a similar story again, with little to separate City and Liverpool.

Guardiola issues instructions to Bernardo Silva in a past Premier League match [Courtesy]

Asked if the title race could come down to goal difference, Guardiola said: “Yes. The first message is to win the game and the second one is if you can score, score, and if you can avoid conceding, do.

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“The Premier League could go to goal difference, I agree, although we’re not going to say to the guys, ‘Today, we have to win 25-0.’

“First, you have to win the game and then second try [to score a lot of goals], because it can happen [league being decided by goal difference].”

Guardiola admitted there is no let-up for his players, with City chasing glory on four fronts this season in the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

“No, they cannot escape, at the moment they cannot,” said Guardiola. “They have to escape when they get home, but they cannot drop what they have to do - it’s not allowed.”