Man City eye English Premier League history as Arsenal dare to dream

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LONDON – At the end of the day, it all comes down to this – the final round of fixtures on May 19 that will decide whether Manchester City win a historic fourth successive English Premier League title, or Arsenal clinch their first since the 2003-04 season.

Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering City go into the last day of the season with a two-point lead over second-placed Arsenal (86), thanks to an eight-game winning streak.

City, who host West Ham United knowing that a win will seal the title, are the hot favourites to set a new standard for dominance in English football.

Arsenal, at home to Everton in their final game, have been near flawless themselves in 2024, with 15 wins and one draw – 0-0 away to City – in 17 league matches.

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

And 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.

The City boss, however, remains as wary as he normally is.

“What I said to the players, the last two or three games, is that Aston Villa winning at Emirates and Crystal Palace winning at Liverpool is not going to happen again,” he said.

“If you are waiting for them (City’s title rivals) to drop points again, you are wrong. If you are thinking Everton are going do something (against Arsenal on Sunday), forget about it.

“This is not going to happen. So, the players know it’s win or win, otherwise Arsenal will be champions. We have one game, destiny in our hands. We need to win one game to be champions.”

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 manager has also hit back at suggestions that 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 insisted, adding that based on spending levels, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal should be matching City’s standards.

“They spent as much money in the last five years as us. They should be there...

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