Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Jacob Steinberg at Craven Cottage

Pep Guardiola warns Manchester City against complacency after Fulham win

Pep Guardiola celebrates with his Manchester City players after beating Fulham
Pep Guardiola celebrates with his Manchester City players after beating Fulham. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Pep Guardiola urged Manchester City to avoid complacency after the champions pushed Arsenal off the top of the Premier League by grinding out a nervy 2-1 win against Fulham.

City moved a point above Arsenal thanks to goals from Erling Haaland, his 50th of the season, and Julián Álvarez but they were under pressure during a feisty second half at Craven Cottage. Guardiola was concerned that his team would struggle with fatigue after a tough run of games and he was delighted that they managed to hold Fulham off.

The message from City’s manager was to stay focused. Arsenal can go top again when they host Chelsea on Tuesday but Mikel Arteta’s side are up against it. City, who host West Ham on Wednesday, already have a game in hand on Arsenal.

“I think that our opponent is not going to drop many points,” Guardiola said. “That is our best mentality, to be humble enough to accept that every game – especially away – will be similar to today. The bar will be on Wednesday. Arsenal have a game on Tuesday, and we play on Wednesday. Now it’s one game in hand, and on Tuesday we will have two games in hand.”

Haaland’s penalty saw him become the first top-flight player since 1931 to score 50 goals in all competitions in a single season. The Norwegian, who missed a penalty against Bayern Munich earlier this month, also equalled the record set by Andy Cole (1993-94) and Alan Shearer (1994-95) of scoring 34 league goals in a season.

“I knew that not even Winston Churchill was Prime Minister when the record today that Erling broke was set,” Guardiola said. “It’s a long, long time ago. I was really impressed that he took the penalty.”

  • Download the Guardian app from the iOS App Store on iPhone or the Google Play store on Android by searching for 'The Guardian'.
  • If you already have the Guardian app, make sure you’re on the most recent version.
  • In the Guardian app, tap the Menu button at the bottom right, then go to Settings (the gear icon), then Notifications.
  • Turn on sport notifications.

Guardiola was pleased that Álvarez stepped up after coming in for Kevin De Bruyne, who was missing with a minor fitness problem. “Julián all the time helps us,” he said. “He’s incredible. Every time he plays he gives us everything.”

Marco Silva was happy with Fulham’s performance but worried about Tim Ream and Andreas Pereira going off injured. Ream’s season appears to be over after the defender suffered a broken arm when he was caught by Álvarez. Fulham were already without the suspended Aleksandar Mitrovic and the injured Willian.

“Let’s hope Andreas Pereira is not so serious,” Silva said. “This is the worst thing. With a small squad like we have it’s really tough to take. We have to wait a little bit more to learn about Andreas.”

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.