Pep Guardiola says his team will be in the title race until the end after Luton demolition as his side return to the top of the table

  • Man City thrashed Luton 5-0 in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon
  • Defeats for Arsenal and Liverpool saw them climb back to the top of the league
  • IAN LADYMAN and CHRIS SUTTON have their say on the Premier League’s Player of the Year – Listen to the It’s All Kicking Off podcast

If ever there was a moment when Pep Guardiola worried about Man City’s title defence it was back in October and November, not now.

Back then City’s stars bemoaned a gruelling campaign, focus was waning after a long year and trips felt longer than ever. Not now. Now City are in their element.

How often have they found themselves here? Fighting on all fronts with so much more experience than their rivals at handling the pressure.

‘They like to play the pressure,’ said Guardiola after City’s demolition of Luton. 

‘They like it when you are dead or alive. That doesn’t mean we are going to win the title but I am pretty sure we will be there until the end because I know them, I see their faces in the meetings, before games and how they prepare.’

Man city boss Pep Guardiola is confident that his team will be in the title race until the end 

This victory over Luton, in which Erling Haaland, Jeremy Doku, Josko Gvardiol and Mateo Kovacic all scored, saw City end the day as league leaders for the first time since November. 

It was back in December after City lost at Aston Villa and then squeaked a 2-1 win at Luton that Guardiola spoke to his players about focus and how, without it, this campaign could fade fast.

‘You think: “This is a long, long season” and that is the moment when you try to do it but you are not completely focused,’ said City’s boss. 

‘We spoke about that. The contenders we have in Arsenal and Liverpool, we cannot draw many games. The biggest difference between Arsenal, Liverpool and us is that they won a lot of points in stoppage time. All three teams have had incredible seasons.

‘But they won a lot of points for the talent they have because of this (late goals).

‘It is a credit to them, not the opposite. But in those departments they are much better than us but still we are there.

City thrashed Luton on Saturday and have now returned to the top of the table

City thrashed Luton on Saturday and have now returned to the top of the table 

‘What a privilege. I could not change our position for any other team. What we have done this season, we live for that. Playing for something, not playing for other things — the big trophies. And still we are there. Again, it is so good.’

This is a big week for City, with a Champions League quarter-final second leg at home to Real Madrid on Wednesday, with the tie locked at 3-3, before an FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday night.

The worry for City’s rivals is that they are peaking at just the right time. Nobody in the dressing room is struggling for focus now.

Erling HaalandPep Guardiola