Pep Guardiola insists he’s not losing sleep over Manchester United’s emergence as a Premier League force.
But as he heads to Chelsea on Sunday hoping to close the gap on his cross-town rivals, the City boss admits it might finally be “game on” with the two Manchester giants ready to battle Liverpool for the Premier League title.
City follow their trip to Chelsea with the short drive to Old Trafford on Wednesday for a one-off Carabao Cup semi-final tie with United.
But it’s the prospect of a title battle with United – now firmly in the race – that’s finally set to capture Guardiola’s imagination with the Spaniard admitting it’s been a long time coming.
“I am pretty sure Ole is happier than me – but I am not concerned too much about United,” said Guardiola, whose City side have two games in hand on Liverpool and Solskjaer’s stars. “If United are there it is because they deserve it.
“Before I landed here people said that the real Premier League is where everyone can lose to everyone. I didn’t see it until now.
“Now is the first time I see that one team is able to lose or win by seven then after that draw. The results are unpredictable.”
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City – missing five players due to covid outbreak at their training ground – are out to inflict more misery on a stuttering Chelsea side with just one win in their last five League games.
Frank Lampard was a big summer spender, but his Blues have struggled to find consistency in recent weeks.
However, Guardiola believes Lampard is the right man to lead Chelsea having broken so many records at Stamford Bridge as a player. “For sure it is special for him,” added the former Barcelona coach.
“I think he wants more than ever to do well, but football is tough business. However, he is an excellent manager and a top, top, top guy.
“Like Carlo Ancelotti, who is a legend for me and one of the people I admire the most, Frank is an incredible person too.
“You train where you were a boy, you won everything there, it is special, of course it is.”
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