Man City know ‘it’s win or Arsenal will be champions’ of the Premier League

The Premier League title comes down to the final day on Sunday when Manchester City and Arsenal will hope to be crowned.

Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, left, was Pep Guardiola's number two at Manchester City [Dylan Martinez/Reuters]

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola expects another nail-biting finale to the Premier League season, similar to the 2021-22 campaign where his club nearly lost the title on the final day before late goals secured the trophy.

City are two points ahead of Arsenal heading into Sunday’s final round of fixtures and can secure a fourth title in as many seasons if they beat West Ham United at home.

Guardiola’s side pipped Liverpool to the title by one point in May 2022, but City made things difficult for themselves when they went 2-0 down to Aston Villa at home before eventually winning 3-2 to deny the Merseyside club the crown.

“I have the feeling it will be [like] Aston Villa again. We would like to be 3-0 up after 10 minutes, but it’s not going to happen. I’ve seen enough [of West Ham’s matches],” Guardiola said.

“I’m ready for it to be a tough, tough game. I want to put in the minds of my players, ‘Look at Tottenham, how they fight for every ball, the aggression they had.’ I didn’t have any doubts about that.

“The 11 players of West Ham will be ready to beat us. Like Aston Villa, two seasons ago, they didn’t play for anything but I know what happened. Ourselves and our people have to be ready from the first minute, to be with us and do it together.”

Arsenal ran out of steam last season to finish in second place but Guardiola does not expect the north London side, managed by his former assistant Mikel Arteta, to slip up when they face Everton at home.

“At that moment, the destiny is in our hands. But if you are waiting for them to drop points again, you are wrong,” Guardiola said.

“If you are thinking Arsenal is going to lose at Old Trafford [against Manchester United], forget about it. If you are thinking Everton are going do something [on Sunday], forget about it.

“This is not going to happen. We did what we had to do in Crystal Palace, against Wolves, Fulham, Spurs and now, we have the last one. So they [players] know it’s win… otherwise Arsenal will be champions.”

Arsenal hope West Ham can blow their bubbles at Man City

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said he hopes his former manager David Moyes can give them a helping hand in the Premier League title race.

Moyes, who will step down as West Ham manager at the end of the season, signed Arteta in 2005 when he was Everton manager, bringing the Spanish midfielder to England, where he spent the rest of his playing career before going into management.

“He’s been instrumental and so important in my career, as a footballer and a person. He could help us to fulfil our dream and my personal dream to win the Premier League,” Arteta said.

“The only thing we’ve discussed is to give ourselves an opportunity to live a beautiful day. It’s possible, it’s football. We have to play like every single week.

“We have to win, then hope West Ham to help us achieve us our dream. That first part is on us, it’s the only thing we can focus on.”

Arsenal fell short by five points last season when their title challenge collapsed in May, but this time, they have been with City every step of the way in the closest title race in Premier League history.

And Arteta said he cannot afford to think about what would happen if they lose the title to City again.

“I can’t think like this. We have to win the game and we hope something beautiful is going to happen,” he said.

Arsenal’s last league title came in the 2003-04 season when Arsene Wenger’s side went the entire season unbeaten but the north London club have never been in this position in a title race since their move from Highbury to Emirates Stadium in 2006.

A Premier League trophy will also be at the Emirates in case Arsenal manage to win the title.

“We are in the last day of the season playing for the Premier League trophy, which has not been at the Emirates which was built 20 years ago,” Arteta said.

“The trophy is going to be there, it’s possible. We have to do our duty, then hope what happens. Let’s wish that’s the case.”

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies