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Manchester City Smooth Sailing, Tackling Title Pressure Against Fulham



Josko Gvardiol has stepped up for City in the run-in with four goals in five games now.

When you quickly look at the Premier League table, it seems like there’s a close fight for the title. But then there are days like today when Manchester City plays, and suddenly, it feels like they’re just breezing through to win it all.

As the season heads into its last week, Manchester City is leading Arsenal by two points, with only two games left for both teams. It sounds like an exciting finish to a thrilling season, right? Well, not quite.

City seems to be dominating the race for the trophy, making it feel like there’s not much of a battle left. They recently won 4-0 against Fulham, which puts them closer to clinching a record fourth consecutive title.

The game against Craven Cottage was an early kickoff, away from Manchester City’s home ground, and it seemed like there could some risk involved. After all, they were facing a team with nothing to lose.


But when it comes to Pep Guardiola’s team, there’s no room for uncertainty, especially when they’re chasing silverware. They collected three more points from the match, which means they can now relax and watch how Arsenal fares when they face Manchester United on Sunday, trying to keep up with City’s lead.

In the last 18 years, Arsenal has managed to win just once at Old Trafford. Anything less than a win for them this weekend against Manchester United will provide Manchester City with the opportunity to seal the title. City will have the chance to do so when they play against Tottenham in London on Tuesday. The title is almost within their reach.

Guardiola commented after the game, saying, “Overall, it was a good performance, except for a five or ten-minute lapse.” He emphasized that they have two games remaining, so they’ll head back to Manchester for a bit before returning to London to face Spurs.

Guardiola highlighted the importance of focusing on recovery now. He mentioned that playing early is beneficial because they have time to prepare and rest at home before the next match on Tuesday. Since Arsenal’s loss against Villa on April 14, City’s fate is in their own hands, which is exactly what they’ve been aiming for.


Sometimes, crucial moments in football bring unexpected stars to the forefront, and that’s exactly what happened with Josko Gvardiol for City recently. Despite being just 22 years old, he made a significant impact in the team’s final stretch. Gvardiol, typically a defender, hadn’t scored a goal in over a year.

However, in the recent match against Fulham, he surprised everyone by scoring twice. This brings his tally to four goals in the last five league games, showing his sudden rise to prominence.

Just a couple of weeks ago at Nottingham Forest, Josko Gvardiol eased any tension by scoring the opening goal of the match. And he repeated the same feat in this game. Playing from the left back position, he skillfully maneuvered inside, exchanging passes with Kevin De Bruyne. With a deft touch past Issa Diop, he then calmly placed his shot into the corner of the net.

It’s moments like these that justify his hefty €90 million price tag, even though he primarily known as a defender.


Guardiola spoke after the game, with a smile, saying, “After our first long spell with the ball, our winger Josko scores a fantastic goal.” When the ball found the net, Guardiola’s expression remained unchanged, his face stoic.

However, he subtly acknowledged the goal’s significance with a clenched fist. Despite the London sun, Guardiola maintained his cool demeanor, wearing a thick wool sweater. Inside Craven Cottage, he was undoubtedly the coolest person around.

City dominated the game so much that it took Fulham nearly an hour to even take a shot. Then, almost right after, Phil Foden doubled City’s lead to make it 2-0. His goal, his 25th of the season, was all thanks to Bernardo Silva’s impressive turn past Antonee Robinson and determined run forward.

Foden’s finish was calm and precise, much like City’s overall performance. It was only after this goal that Guardiola allowed himself a smile. If City can replicate this kind of performance in their remaining two games, there’ll likely be even more smiles by the end of the season.


Guardiola expressed, “I have a feeling they thrive under pressure.” He highlighted the incredible personalities within the team, players who actually enjoy playing under such intense pressure. They understand the stakes losing means losing the Premier League title.

Despite that, they remain focused solely on the next game. Guardiola emphasized the importance of performing well in their upcoming match in London and aiming for a win, without getting distracted by anything else.

When Gvardiol scored his second goal from Silva’s cross, the City fans behind the goal erupted into a full Poznan celebration. This is typically a signal that the game is effectively won, and the fans can start enjoying themselves. With the score now at 3-0, Guardiola began to shift his focus towards the upcoming match against Spurs.

Depending on Arsenal’s result against United, there’s a chance for a title celebration. Guardiola acted swiftly, substituting De Bruyne first, followed shortly by Foden and Erling Haaland.


By the end of the match, Fulham fans deeply disheartened by City’s relentless performance. When the board displayed seven minutes of stoppage time, there were audible groans from the stands. They simply wanted the game to be over as quickly as possible.

After witnessing a display of ruthless efficiency from Guardiola’s team, who could blame them? Their desire for a swift conclusion was justified. In the 96th minute, substitute Julián Álvarez fouled in the penalty area by Diop.

As a result, Diop received his second yellow card and was sent off. Álvarez then confidently converted the penalty to seal City’s victory.

The game ended with a feeling that sucked out any hope Arsenal had left. When the referee finally blew the whistle to signal the end, Manchester City players calmly walked over to their fans. They were cheered loudly with chants of “champions again.” It’s really tough to argue against this conclusion.


Throughout the match, Manchester City looked dominant. They controlled the game, making Arsenal seem powerless in comparison. The City players seemed like they were on another level, effortlessly passing the ball around and creating chances. Arsenal, on the other hand, struggled to keep up. Their passes were sloppy, and they couldn’t seem to find a way through Manchester City’s defense.

As the final minutes ticked away, it became clear that Arsenal was no match for Manchester City. The gap in quality between the two teams was glaringly obvious. And when the final whistle blew, it was a moment of confirmation for everyone watching Manchester City were the champions once again.

The City players, with smiles on their faces, acknowledged their fans who were singing their praises. It was a scene of celebration for them, while Arsenal fans were left feeling dejected. The result only served to highlight the difference in fortunes between the two clubs.

For Arsenal, it was a bitter pill to swallow. They had hoped for a better performance, perhaps even a surprise upset. But in the end, they were outplayed and outclassed by a superior team.


As Manchester City celebrated another title, Arsenal was left to reflect on what went wrong and how they can improve in the future.