Pep Guardiola claims Manchester City could yet still blow the Premier League title.
City missed their first opportunity to secure the crown last week as they surrendered a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 to rivals Manchester United in their derby at the Etihad Stadium.
With that result trimming their advantage to 13 points, Guardiola’s side now need to find another two victories from their remaining six games to put top spot beyond United.
Should they fail to get one of them against Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday, United would then have the chance to eat further into their lead as they play on Sunday and Wednesday.
“In football it can happen, of course it can, I assure you,” said Guardiola when asked if City could yet feel the pressure of a challenge from United.
“Real Madrid, years ago (in 2004), lost six games (from seven) and didn’t win the league.
“Never before in the NBA had one team in the finals recovered from 3-1 down, and two years ago (Cleveland) Cavaliers beat Golden State Warriors 4-3. They won three games in a row.
“My feeling is now that United will win a lot of points because they are in a good shape and have top players. They are able to win their games, all six.
“So, we have to do it, like we have all season. It is in our hands. That is a good advantage.”
Guardiola, however, insists this is not something he needs to point out to his players because they have shown no signs of complacency throughout the campaign.
“They know that. It is not necessary to say it,” he said. “What I say to the players, and what they show, every game, it that it is not done. Because if it was done they would not play the way they play.
“We have to do it tomorrow. After, we wait for the results of United but, if it does not depend on the results of United, it is in our hands. We are able to win two games. We have handled the pressure, good and bad situations, all season.”
The past week has taken a little of the shine off City’s outstanding season with the loss to United coming between defeats by Liverpool in both legs of their Champions League quarter-final.
Speaking at a press conference, Guardiola said: “Since November and December we have already been champions – when I saw pundits and people (say it is) ‘impossible for City to drop points’.
“But in one week we have lost three games. That has happened. We have to try to focus on our games – Tottenham, Swansea and after that.”