February 4, 2019 / 4:51 AM / 15 days ago

Soccer: City back in title hunt after Arsenal win, says Guardiola

Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester City v Arsenal - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - February 3, 2019 Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring their third goal to complete his hat-trick with Raheem Sterling REUTERS/Andrew Yates

(Reuters) - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola feared last week’s defeat at Newcastle United had all but ended their Premier League title hopes but said the defending champions were back in the hunt after Sunday’s 3-1 win over Arsenal.

City are on 59 points from 25 games, two points behind league leaders Liverpool who face West Ham United on Monday and Guardiola was relieved the gap was not wider after Juergen Klopp’s side drew with Leicester City last week.

“After the Newcastle game everybody was convinced, myself too, that Liverpool were going to beat Leicester and it would be seven points and it would be almost over,” Guardiola said.

“Now we’re on two points and that’s why we don’t have to look too much at the table... I cannot deny we would prefer West Ham to beat Liverpool, but Liverpool would have preferred Arsenal to beat us.”

City take on ninth-placed Everton on Wednesday and Guardiola is well aware of the need to build momentum, with third-placed Tottenham Hotspur two points behind them and breathing down their necks.

“Another big week, now we rest and prepare for Goodison... we have to win,” Guardiola added.

“Tottenham have showed incredible mentality, they fight and fight. A lot can happen.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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