Is Man City likable? Guardiola laughs it off with 4th straight Premier League title in sight

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Pep Guardiola is focused on winning Sunday, not on whether his team is likable.

Manchester City just needs to beat West Ham at Etihad Stadium on Sunday to clinch an unprecedented fourth straight English top-flight title.

The manager seemed taken aback Friday when asked at a press conference, “Do you think people like your football team?” — in view of the Abu Dhabi-owned club maintaining its dominance while fighting more than 100 charges for financial misconduct.

Guardiola smiled and uttered a one-word expletive before adding context.

“I don’t know what the people think,” he said. “I don’t go knock the door of every person.

“But the fact is that if you ask all the Premier League teams when we started the season what would be the better position in the last game of the season, we are in the best position, that’s for sure. One game left, destiny in our hands, to win one game to be champion, every team would like to be in our position.”

City, looking to win a sixth league in eight years, leads Arsenal by two points heading into Sunday’s season finale.

“Will it be easy? Absolutely not,” the City manager said. “We would like to be after 10 minutes 3-0 up, but it’s not going to happen.”

If Guardiola’s team fails to win, Arsenal can become champion by beating Everton at home.

The league is prepared for both scenarios — with identical trophies in London and Manchester for Sunday’s games, which kick off at the same time. Historically, the team entering the final day in the lead typically stays there.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said besides needing to take care of business against the Toffees, they’ll hope for West Ham “to have a really good day and help us to fulfil our dream.” The Gunners haven’t won the title since the “Invincibles” in 2004.

Arteta figures all 60,000 fans at Emirates Stadium plus “all the staff, assistant coaches, their families” will be checking the City score on their phones while also watching Arsenal.


AP soccer:

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