Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola praises ‘exceptional’ Arsenal and says they deserve top spot
Posted by  badge Boss on Nov 10, 2022 - 10:42AM
The Spaniard admits Mikel Arteta’s side have been ‘better’ so far (Picture: Getty)

has praised Arsenal and feels they are deserving Premier League leaders ahead of the break, while he says ’s Carabao Cup win is a benefit not a hindrance.

The Spaniard – whose side are currently second in the Premier League, two points behind Arsenal – shuffled his pack for the visit of in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night and secured a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Riyad Mahrez and Julian Alvarez.

They host Brentford on Saturday in the final match before the season breaks up for the World Cup, while Arsenal travel to Wolves after losing at home to Brighton in their own Carabao Cup tie.

With the next round taking place two days after the World Cup final, it had been suggested that it could be a blessing in disguise to exit the competition now.

But Guardiola feels the fourth-round match will be a massive benefit to the players in his squad who will not play for the next six weeks and is very pleased with City’s start to the campaign – even if his side remain in second place behind Arsenal after the weekend.

When it was suggested that he couldn’t have asked for much more from the first part of the season, Guardiola replied: ‘We could be top of the league! But Arsenal have been exceptional.

‘So I think yesterday one guy on my staff told me that we had more points in the Premier League [at this stage of the season] than I think in the last four seasons.

Mikel Arteta’s side have only lost one league match this season (Picture: Getty)

‘So that means we have been really good, but another team has been better. We have to accept it. This is the level, the bar, the standards.

‘But of course to manage Champions League qualification in this period and not be far, far away from the top of the league, this is the situation.

‘Yesterday I could say “Oh if we are not qualified, we have one more week of holiday” but it will be good for Sergio [Gomez], Riyad [Mahrez], Erling [Haaland] who don’t go to the World Cup.

‘Before we go to Leeds in the first [Premier League] game after the World Cup, they will have a rhythm of one game [from the Carabao Cup].’

Guardiola was also asked about Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham all exiting the competition, and replied sarcastically: ‘Yeah we’ll be champions already, yeah. Thank you.

‘We’re confident for the fact that it doesn’t matter. I’ve said from day one, if we play a friendly game, Carabao Cup, Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup: we play to win the game.

‘And this is the standard we are going to set in this club. Consistency in every competition, we have to do our job. After we can lose, of course, but we played today to win the game, being who we are.’


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