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EPL: Arsenal Should Be Delighted With Finishing Second – Pep Guardiola

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EPL: Arsenal Should Be Delighted With Finishing Second - Pep Guardiola
EPL: Arsenal Should Be Delighted With Finishing Second - Pep Guardiola (Image: Matt McNulty - /Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said that Arsenal should be delighted with finishing second in the Premier League this season.

The Spaniard believes that securing a top-four finish after a seven-year hiatus from the Champions League is a significant achievement for the North London club.

Guardiola’s comments come after his side delivered a dominant performance against Arsenal, winning 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.

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The result saw Manchester City to second place in the table, just two points behind Arsenal with two games in hand.

Despite being in contention for the title, Guardiola was quick to praise Arsenal for their progress this season. He said, “Arsenal should be happy with their season.

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They have made progress and have secured a Champions League spot after many years. It’s not easy to finish in the top four of this league, and they have done it.”

Asked if he had the champagne ready, with City just one point away from securing a top-four finish themselves, Guardiola said: ‘Yes! It’s already there!

‘Ask Arsenal… they are already in the Champions League. Ask the owners from Arsenal what it means after six, seven years being out of the Champions League.

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‘Next season Arsenal will be playing the elite, the best teams in Europe in an incredible competition. It is a success, absolutely.’

READ ALSO: Erik ten Hag Vents Fury At 3 Man United Players During Dramatic Tottenham Clash

Guardiola is not writing Arsenal completely off just yet, though, and pointed to when City dropped points at Nottingham Forest in February three days after beating the Gunners at the Etihad.

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City travel to Fulham on Sunday and Guardiola added: ‘People start to say it’s over, it’s not over. We still have seven games.

‘I know what happened when we won at the Emirates… we went to Nottingham Forest and we drew.

‘Now we go to Fulham, a special stadium against an organised team, a good team. We’re taking nothing for granted.

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‘I know it’s not 20 games left, it’s seven, but seven games are seven games. Especially considering we have Champions League games and so on.

READ ALSO: N’Golo Kante ‘Agrees to join Arsenal from Chelsea’ at the end of the season

‘We are there to to try and [win the title]. We have good momentum, the feeling is good but we have to prove it again.

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‘We have seven games but they have five. It is really close. The performance against Nottingham Forest [after the win at the Emirates over Arsenal] was one of the best.

‘Travelling up from London, the late night… The team played incredible but we dropped points, we have to try and avoid it [again].

‘I know perfectly Mikel, I know, the players know – they [Arsenal] will not give up. If we were ten points ahead then I’d say it’s over. But we are two points behind.

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READ ALSO: Mikel Arteta Give Reasons Arsenal Can Still Win Premier League Title Ahead of Man City

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The Spaniard went on to explain that he understands the expectations that come with managing a top club, but he believes that sometimes, fans and pundits can be too harsh on their teams.

Arsenal fans may feel frustrated with their side’s inconsistency this season, particularly given their strong start to the campaign. However, Guardiola’s words will provide some comfort to the Gunners faithful, who have endured a difficult few years before now.

Guardiola’s praise for Arsenal is also a testament to the competitiveness of the Premier League, with even the most successful managers acknowledging the challenges of the English game.

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With just a few games remaining, it remains to be seen whether Arsenal can hold onto their top-four spot and secure a return to the Champions League.

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