'Sometimes when you win 1-0 it is so good' - Guardiola content with narrow Arsenal win

Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2020
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Raheem Sterling's header saw City extend their lead at the top of the Premier League standings to 10 points

Pep Guardiola has hailed his Manchester City players for their battling qualities after a 1-0 win over Arsenal away from home.

Raheem Sterling’s early header was sufficient for City to claim three points and extend their lead at the top of the table ahead of Manchester United’s home meeting with Newcastle.

City, though, might have won the game by a greater margin as they created a number of further chances. Guardiola, though, was not concerned by the slim success.

Guardiola on Arsenal win

"They are aggressive with one-to-one pressing. They move really well in the pockets and speed from the sides. It's so difficult to play against. We knew today would be one of the toughest ones but we scored early and we could control it,” he told BBC Sport.

"The first 10-15 minutes were so good then the next half an hour they were much better than us. The feeling is that they are close. In the second half, we needed something to be more effective in our pressing and we were much better.

"Of course, we could score the second and the third but we scored then they defend well. It's so difficult to play Arsenal and Mikel [Arteta]. He knows our players so well. It is not easy to play and we play so, so calm and intelligent. It was a good game.

"Every game you are not going to win games 2-0, 3-0, 4-0, sometimes when you win 1-0 it is so good. We have to realise what we are doing is so difficult. It is a struggle, a fight, behind the ball and that is why we like this result.

"It is one more, one more. We think all the time the next one. That is now Champions League, then West Ham at home. One at a time. 39 points to play. We have 10 up front. So we have to win."

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The big picture

Manchester City are now 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League with 13 matches to play, putting them in a strong position to claim their third title in four years.

Meanwhile, they have a Champions League match with Borussia Monchengladbach to follow in midweek, with City’s big long-term objective success in Europe.

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