Guardiola sets target of 10 wins to guarantee title
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has set his players the target of another 10 wins to guarantee a Premier League title triumph.
The leaders responded to their 4-3 loss to Liverpool last week, their first in domestic competition this season, with a 3-1 victory over Newcastle United on Saturday.
That restored their 12-point lead at the top of the table after Manchester United had briefly reduced it to nine with a 1-0 win away to Burnley.
Guardiola now wants 30 more points from City’s final 14 matches to make sure of a first league title since he came to England in 2016.
"Always after the defeat against Liverpool, you have a little bit of doubt how you would react – what would happen if you went two games in a row not winning," he told a news conference. "That's why it was so important.
"We need mathematically 10 victories to be champions. We are going to try to win game by game."
3 - Sergio Aguero has scored the first perfect Premier League hat-trick since the Argentine himself scored one against Newcastle in October 2015. Deja-vu. pic.twitter.com/zs4I9Czy82
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 20, 2018
Sergio Aguero scored all three goals in the win at the Etihad Stadium to take his tally for the season to 16 in just 19 league appearances.
It was a ruthless performance from the Argentina striker, whose future at the club had come under scrutiny this term amid rumours of a falling-out with Guardiola and City's pursuit of Alexis Sanchez.
With the Arsenal forward on the verge of joining Manchester United, Guardiola is more than happy to put his faith in Aguero – and Gabriel Jesus, who will be back from a knee injury next month – for the remainder of the campaign.
"We are not going to buy another striker," he said. "We have him [Aguero] and, in two or three weeks, Gabriel is back.
"We are so happy for him. Before his first goal, he didn't touch the ball. It is his gift. No words to describe him. I am so happy for him.
"I think how Sergio played his career here. His reaction doesn't depend on the fact that one player comes or doesn't come. In the last games, apart from Anfield, he scores goals.
"This chapter is over, finished, so we are going to think of the future."