Pep Guardiola admits Manchester City were NOT the better side in their late New Year's Day victory away at Arsenal due to a lack of 'energy'... and he insists the title race is 'unlikely' to be over despite moving 11 points clear at the top

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Pep Guardiola admits Manchester City were NOT the better side in their late New Year's Day victory away at Arsenal due to a lack of 'energy'... and he insists the title race is 'unlikely' to be over despite moving 11 points clear at the top

  • Manchester City claimed a last-gasp 2-1 win away at Arsenal on New Year's Day
  • Rodri netted a 93rd-minute winner for the visitors in a controversial affair
  • Riyad Mahrez cancelled out Bukayo Saka's opener with a contentious penalty
  • Pep Guardiola was delighted with his side's spirit while playing through fatigue 

Pep Guardiola admitted Arsenal were the better side despite Manchester City clinching a late 2-1 win at the Emirates on New Year's Day.

City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to 11 points in north London, with Rodri's stoppage-time winner snatching them an 11th straight victory.

Nevertheless, Guardiola's men benefitted from two highly controversial calls on the day; first when referee Stuart Attwell chose not to award Arsenal a penalty for Ederson's challenge on Martin Odegaard inside the box, and later when he pointed to the spot for a Granit Xhaka foul on Bernardo Silva.

Pep Guardiola admitted Arsenal were the better side despite Manchester City's 2-1 win

Pep Guardiola admitted Arsenal were the better side despite Manchester City's 2-1 win

Pep Guardiola admitted Arsenal were the better side despite Manchester City's 2-1 win

Riyad Mahrez cancelled out Bukayo Saka's opener from 12 yards, setting up Rodri to slot home his last-gasp winner.

On another day the Gunners could well have come away with three points of their own, which Guardiola was quick to acknowledge after the game.

'They (Arsenal) were better,' he said. 'We faced a team that in the past years has struggled to be in the top four and started this year in the bottom, bottom, bottom and they are in the top four and they had six or seven days from Norwich, we had two and a half from Brentford going back to Manchester and coming back.

Rodri's 93rd-minute strike moved City 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League table

Rodri's 93rd-minute strike moved City 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League table 

Guardiola felt Arsenal were the better side on the day but didn't get the luck of the green

Guardiola felt Arsenal were the better side on the day but didn't get the luck of the green

'And we didn't have energy, that is why we tried to put one more player in midfield, for control. 

'We tried in the second half to change it, football we try to analyse many things, sometimes it is the coin, sometimes it comes down on your side, sometimes the other side. That is the reality.

'We know what it means to win at the Emirates against Arsenal in the moment they are. It was difficult, now we find time to rest.'

When asked if the title race is over with his side now in what appears an unassailable lead, Guardiola replied:  'It is unlikely, I told you before. Eleven games in a row, that is great in this period.

'Just take a look at our bench today, there were four guys from the academy. We had many cases of Covid and injuries. This period we were incredibly tired. 

'Arsenal was better today. Sometimes it can happen.'

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