Pep Guardiola uses Liverpool FC upset to ground Man City in title race

29 days ago Manchester Evening News

Pep Guardiola uses the 2005 Champions League final to remind his Manchester City players not to take anything for granted.

The defending Premier League champions returned to winning ways at Bournemouth with a 4-1 win that moves them back to within two points of Arsenal having played one game more; Arsenal had beaten Leicester 1-0 earlier on Saturday. City have lost the advantage they gained by winning at the Emirates this month, although there is still a long way to go in the title race.

City know how to win a league title from behind at this point of the season, and their experience is still seen as a potentially significant factor against a Gunners side full of hunger and quality but short of medals. With Arsenal having lost to the Blues twice already this season and still to visit the Etihad in the league, there is plenty of time for things to change.

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Guardiola would like to think that experience can help his team, but has been in football long enough to know that it doesn't always go how everyone expects it to go. That was certainly true back in 2005, when Liverpool overturned a 3-0 half-time deficit against a star-studded AC Milan side in one of the biggest comebacks in the history of the game.

"I would like to say yes [it can help us] but I don't know. Every season is completely different," said Guardiola. "Always I put an example to my players about this kind of thing. Experience with the Champions League final with Milan and Liverpool.

"Liverpool make a good comeback. Milan in that period, it was 3-0 at half time, Milan had more experience in the line-up than I have ever seen with [Paolo] Maldini, Cafu, Duda, Carlo Ancelotti, and they lost. They lost.

"From my little experience in football everything is under control, then I know exactly what happens - football comes and punches you in your face with the reality. This is the truth."

City's win at Bournemouth put frustration at Nottingham Forest and RB Leipzig behind them as they continue their tricky run of away fixtures. Despite not getting the best results, Guardiola has seen enough from recent performances to expect his team to fight all the way for silverware this season.

"I'm satisfied, not just for today, Nottingham as well," he said. "We were sad because of how good we were there.

"The performance was amazing, unfortunately football controls. What I've seen lately in the games, how we felt, how we tried to play. That makes me feel 'okay, we will fight'.

"I know how good Arsenal are so far, United and Newcastle are still there. That's why [we need] calm, think of Bristol now. My scout told me how serious we have to take it.

"After Newcastle, Crystal Palace, Champions League [last-16 second leg against Leipzig], we will see. We are still in February, soon it is March.

"After winning what we've won the last years, still we are there in the three titles [competitions], that makes me feel so proud. We want to win but I'm so proud."

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