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Man City: Pep Guardiola fires Liverpool Istanbul warning to squad in Arsenal title chase | Football | Sport

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Pep Guardiola has warned his troops about football’s ability to ‘punch you within the face’ just whenever you think things are going swimmingly. Manchester City returned to form in ominous fashion on the south coast as they bounced back from their recent wobbles, which saw them drop 4 points from their previous 4 league games, by sweeping aside struggling Bournemouth.

The gap to Premier League leaders Arsenal was closed to only two points again, and in this type of form, you wouldn’t back against City happening the sort of end-of-season run that might grind down and overtake their rivals. But Guardiola is just not looking any further ahead than the subsequent game – against Bristol City within the FA Cup.

And the Catalan pointed to one of the crucial spectacular footballing comebacks ever as evidence that having an experienced team isn’t any proof against failure. City have won the title 4 times within the last five years, while Arsenal haven’t tasted that glory in any respect since 2004. 

But Guardiola said: “I would really like to say that have is a bonus, but I don’t know. I at all times put for example to my players the Champions League final of 2005, when Liverpool played AC Milan. Liverpool made that comeback (winning the ultimate on penalties after being 3-0 down).

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“But Milan in that period had probably the most experienced line-up of players I had seen in a protracted time – Paolo Maldini, Gennaro Gattuso, Cafu. Football, whenever you think the whole lot is under control, can punch you within the face and put you back into reality.

“But once I see these days in our games how now we have fought and we tried to play, that makes me feel OK, we are going to fight to the tip. I know the way good Arsenal have been, how good Manchester United have been, and Newcastle are still there. 

“We’re calm. But, after winning what now we have won this previous couple of years, we still are in for 3 titles, and that makes me so proud.” Arsenal’s 1-0 win at Leicester earlier within the afternoon had piled the pressure back on City on the Vitality Stadium. But from minute one there was no doubting their intent.

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They were ahead after just 14 minutes, when Phil Foden’s shot was blocked, Erling Haaland’s effort got here back off the bar – but there was Julian Alvarez to thump home the rebound. Then from the wonderful Ilkay Gundogan’s cross, Foden – firmly back in form – got a touch, however the ball ran loose to Haaland, who smashed in goal number 27 this season.

It was three on the stroke of half-time as Bournemouth shot themselves within the foot, Philip Billing giving the ball straight to Foden, who skipped past Jack Stephens to attain with ease.

The sport was already way beyond Bournemouth by this stage, as Gundogan sprayed the ball about. When the Cherries didn’t clear one other attack, Alvarez’s shot was deflected into his own net by the hapless Chris Mepham.

There could and may have been more, but Gary O’Neil’s side to their credit never stopped battling, they usually got some reward when the wonderful Jordan Zemura burst forward and crossed, City couldn’t clear, and Jefferson Lerma fired in a consolation effort. 

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