Pep Guardiola says Liverpool’s shock implosion this season is a warning to Manchester City that the title race is far from over.
Guardiola’s rampant City side have opened up a 10-point lead at the top of the table after winning their last 12 Premier League games.
The Blues have won their last 17 games in all competitions, part of a formidable 24-match unbeaten run stretching back to November 25.
Carlo Ancelotti, whose Everton side were the latest to be brushed aside by the City juggernaut in midweek, said it was “almost impossible” to beat Guardiola’s side.
Despite their status as odds-on title favourites, Guardiola claimed it is too early to declare City champions, citing Liverpool’s demise to validate his caution.
“I appreciate it, but I don’t agree with him,” said Guardiola, when asked about Ancelotti’s remark.
“We can lose, the opponents are good and we try to do better.
“I love Carlo, he’s an inspiration for me but I don’t agree with him.
“Ten days before we played at Everton, we played at Anfield and were seven points in front of Liverpool.
“If we’d lost, it would have been four. Now it’s 16, but in 10 days everything changed.
“So we have to focus on the next game and not listen to what people say.
“We’re in February, it’s still not Spring. You win titles in summer, so there’s a lot of games to come.”
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City beat Arsenal 4-1 in the EFL Cup semi-finals the last time the two sides met in December, with Guardiola’s former No.2 Mikel Arteta having struggled in his first full season in charge.
Despite Arsenal’s inconsistency this season, Guardiola said his friend and former assistant at City is the right man to take the Gunners forward.
“He doesn’t need help,” said Guardiola. “He’s more than well prepared than to need to get help from me.
“Of course, he’s an important person in my life, especially when we had a lot of contact, in our period here in Manchester.
“I didn’t inspire him. What he knows, he knows for himself. What he has done, he takes all the credit himself and with his backroom staff.
“All I can say is that the last month or two have shown me that all the managers need time and he’s not an exception.
“But what I’ve seen in the last month or two, every game Arsenal have played, they’ve played better than the opponent.
“So we will need an incredible performance, to play as well as possible with the ball and run a lot at the right tempo.
“That’s why, already in the present and in the near future, they’ll be a real contender to fight for the titles.”