“Title race is not done” – Pep Guardiola

Manchester City got a leg up with a win over Tottenham Hotspur to officially clinch the top spot in the 2023/24 Premier League season, but Pep Guardiola is not letting up.

The Cityzens faced Spurs on Tuesday to make up for their blank game week 34 and are now two points clear at the top of the league, while having only one goal difference between them and second-placed Arsenal.

The current defending champions could officially win the title if they beat West Ham United on the last day of the season at the Etihad. If they draw or lose, however, Arsenal wins the league if they beat Everton at the Emirates on the same day.

Guardiola made reference to this difficulty while his players celebrated finally topping the league once more in their dressing room after dispatching Spurs by two goals to nothing at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

“I like that they were so happy in the locker room but they know it’s not done,” the manager told the media. “I didn’t see an extra celebration. They know perfectly it will be tough.”

“People have to come to Etihad at 3 on Sunday knowing it will be difficult. They have to come with their families and bring the energy, win every inch and metre and deserve to win that game.”

“All we have to do is win that game. To have the chance to live that possibility we are so fortunate.”

The standout player of that match was second-choice Stefan Ortega, who was brought in as a substitute for Ederson after Guardiola deemed it fit that his first choice Brazilian goalkeeper was a liability in the game.

The German made a match-winning save from a one-on-one chance against Spurs captain Heung-Min Son which brought back memories of Argentina and Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez against France striker Randal Kolo Muani in the final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Jamie Carragher, on punditry duty for Sky Sports, opined that the German has effectively won the fourth-straight league title for City and that Arsenal fans will bear a grudge against Son for a long time.

“Ortega, tonight alone, has won them the Premier League title. Obviously a lot’s gone into that over the season but when you look at this game, if he doesn’t make those saves at 1-0, Arsenal will win the league. That’s how close it is.”

“That Son chance is the moment Arsenal fans will remember in five, 10 years’ time. Even if they win the title in the next five years – and they’ve got a chance of doing that because they’re a great team with a great manager – that chance will still haunt them.”

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