Pep Guardiola has explained why it may be for Manchester City to catch Premier League leaders Arsenal in the title race.
City have dropped five points in their last three league matches, with a 2-1 home defeat at home to Brentford before the World Cup break followed by a 1-1 draw at home against Everton last weekend.
Arsenal, meanwhile, dropped points at the Emirates Stadium for the first time this season when they were held to a goalless stalemate against Newcastle United on Tuesday night.
The Gunners missed the chance to move 10 points clear of second-placed Man City, and instead hold an eight-point lead to the reigning Premier League champions, who could reduce the gap to five points with a victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night.
Guardiola believes his side cannot afford too many more slip-ups if they wish to close in on the Gunners at the summit.
“The way you have to reduce the gap is play good and win games,” Guardiola said at Wednesday’s Presser.
“They have an average they’re going to do 100 points, Arsenal, the way they’ve done so far. If they continue that way, we will not catch them. So you have to be almost perfect, I would say.
“Yesterday they were excellent against Newcastle again. We will see what happens.”
City’s encounter with Chelsea on Thursday is the first of six fixtures during a challenging schedule in the month of January, with an FA Cup third-round clash to follow against the West Londoners at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
The Citizens will then take on Southampton at St Mary’s in the EFL Cup quarter-finals before finishing the month with three successive Premier League fixtures against rivals Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Asked whether the next six weeks could be a defining period in City’s season, Guardiola said: “Six weeks? Or many weeks? In six weeks many things are going to happen, yes for sure.
“We haven’t even finished the first leg [first half of season]. Many things are going to happen, this is my feeling, for all clubs and all teams.”
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