Pep Guardiola has hit back at suggestions Manchester City dropped two points against Chelsea in their pulsating 4-4 draw on Sunday, pointing to the struggles Liverpool and Arsenal had against Mauricio Pochettino’s side. City and Chelsea couldn’t be separated in an instant classic in west London with Cole Palmer denying his side all three points with a stoppage time spot-kick.
City took the lead three times in the match, but were pegged back on each occasion. Despite the point, City remain top of the table heading into the international break.
The defending Premier League champions were favourites to clinch all three points against Chelsea, who have struggled to find much rhythm this campaign. But Pochettino has managed to make his team resilient in games against the Premier League’s elite with impressive performances against Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham.
It’s games against teams lower down the table where Chelsea have struggled to get it together, but Guardiola believes the results against Liverpool and Arsenal are proof that Pochettino has them on the right track.
“They are so dangerous, they are a really good team,” Guardiola told Sky Sports. “Liverpool could not win, Arsenal… they were much, much better than Arsenal and then at the end Arsenal draw.
“It’s Chelsea away and the people believe so I’m not going to say what Chelsea have done to do what they are right now as a team. It’s getting better, the teams they play they good. They have physicality, they have talent, they have speed, they have bench, they have a lot of things.
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“So Chelsea have built what they have done and decided to do for the next few years. Important that we go into the international break top of the league. I didn’t expect it after the Arsenal game when we lost.
“We’ve qualified for the Champions League [knockout phase] and we’re top of the league and where we come from, wow that is really, really good.”
City’s first game back after the international break comes against Liverpool at the Etihad with just one point separating them both at the top of the table. Liverpool haven’t beaten City away from home in the league since November 2015, just weeks after Jurgen Klopp took the job at Anfield.
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