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History-chasing Man City eye Premier League title ‘destiny’

Pep Guardiola urged history-chasing Manchester City to seize their title “destiny” as the battle for Premier League supremacy reaches a thrilling climax on Sunday.

Guardiola’s all-conquering team go into the final day of the season with a two-point lead over second-placed Arsenal thanks to an eight-game winning streak.

City host West Ham knowing a win will seal an unprecedented fourth successive English title, reports AFP.

Arsenal have been near flawless themselves in 2024, with 15 wins and one draw, away to City, in 17 league matches.

However, the Gunners’ costly 2-0 defeat against Aston Villa last month looks set to be decisive in a thrilling title race that also involved Liverpool until their recent stumbles.

Arsenal, who finished second last year, must beat Everton at the Emirates Stadium and hope City fail to win if they are to end their 20-year wait for the title.

Guardiola doesn’t expect a favour from Everton, who have nothing to play for, and will instead focus on ensuring his players finish the job themselves.

“The destiny is in our hands, but if you are thinking that Everton are going to do something, forget about it. I have seen Arsenal all season,” he said.

“We just focus on what we have to do against West Ham. There is not any contamination in my brain about anything other than what we have to do to beat West Ham.”

Not for the first time, City have been at their relentless best in the intense heat of the run-in.

Guardiola’s men have dropped just six points since mid-December, in draws against Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal.

As City close in on a sixth title in seven seasons under Guardiola, the competitiveness of the world’s most-watched league has been questioned.

But the Catalan coach has hit back at suggestions the Premier League has become boring and that City’s dominance is thanks purely to the financial muscle of their Abu Dhabi-based owners.

“It’s not boring, it’s difficult,” Guardiola said.

Arsenal have set a club record by winning 27 Premier League games this season, but that still might not be enough to dethrone City.

“We have to give ourselves the opportunity to live a beautiful day on Sunday, where the dream is still alive and is possible,” Gunners boss Mikel Arteta said. “It’s football and once we are there we just have to live the moment.”