Pep Guardiola says the Premier League title is only Chelsea’s to lose despite Manchester City gaining ground on the leaders on Wednesday night.
City were the only top-six team to win over the past two days, steamrollering West Ham in a dominant show of strength at London Stadium.
Antonio Conte was in the crowd as the visitors wreaked havoc but Guardiola says the Chelsea manager ‘doesn’t have to be too worried’.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says the Premier League title is only Chelsea’s to lose
Conte was pictured at the London Stadium on Wednesday night with Trevor Brooking (top left) and West Ham joint chairman David Gold (right on front row)
Guardiola, the Manchester City manager, delivers instructions to his team against West Ham
The City boss told his players to forget about chasing down the leaders from their position 10 points behind, adding: ‘The gap is too much.’
Having heard Conte was watching on as goals from Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Gabriel Jesus, Yaya Toure ripped through West Ham, Guardiola said: ‘He’s 10 points in front of us. Only Chelsea can lose the Premier League. I don’t think (that City can pressure them).
‘It’s a mistake to think about Chelsea when you are 10 points behind. You have to think about winning games. We started well, but we’ve been inconsistent since.
‘To qualify for the Champions League and fight until the end, you have to make a good run of victories, otherwise it will be impossible.
‘Only Chelsea can lose it. Look at how many they’ve lost in their last 16 games. They’re not going to lose four or five in the games they have left.
‘You have to be there trying to win your own games. After that, if the opponents don’t win, that’s better. We are not thinking about big goals at the moment because the gap is too much.’
Gabriel Jesus taps home his first Manchester City goal in the 4-0 win at West Ham
Kevin De Bruyne latches on to Jesus’ pass to open the scoring for Manchester City
Guardiola would not be drawn on whether he would stick with stand-in goalkeeper Willy Caballero for Sunday’s game against Swansea City after dropping error-prone Claudio Bravo.
And having witnessed Gabriel Jesus become the first City player to score and set up a goal on his full debut in the Premier League, he suggested the 19-year-old could be paired with substitute Sergio Aguero in future.
‘They can play together,’ Guardiola said. Sergio, for us, remains such an important player. We cannot achieve our goals without his contribution.
David Silva is in the right place at the right time to place the ball into the back of the net
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic said City were ‘unstoppable’ on this sort of form and rued being on the wrong side of Guardiola’s team’s Jekyll and Hyde form again.
City were just as clinical last night as they were in winning 5-0 at this venue in the FA Cup just 27 days previous.
‘It was like a copy and paste game,’ Bilic said. ‘It’s hard to find positive things. It was well deserved for City, we have to give them credit.’
Sergio Aguero watched from the bench as Pep Guardiola’s men eased to top-flight victory