Manchester City’s players must remain calm after their derby victory if they are to retain the Premier League title, says manager Pep Guardiola.
Goals from Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane gave City a 2-0 win at Manchester United to move above Liverpool at the top of the table.
City will retain the title if they win their last three league matches.
“We’re still not champions with three games left,” said Guardiola, whose side have one point more than Liverpool.
“I told the players don’t read tomorrow, don’t watch the television, just rest and sleep a lot and go in there against Burnley [on Sunday].
“We go to Burnley and we know how tough it will be. It’s important to be calm.”
City reached 100 points in 2017-18 as they finished 19 points clear of United for Guardiola’s first Premier League title.
His side will get to 98 points and become champions again if they beat Burnley, Leicester and Brighton in their last three games of the season.
Liverpool face Huddersfield, Newcastle and Wolves, but need City to drop points if they are to win the English title for the first time since 1989-90.
“Both teams deserve the title, but it can be just one,” added the Spaniard.
“The team that is going to lose can’t have regrets because they have given everything.
“We increased the level for the Premier League last season with 100 points. That’s the level. Liverpool are chasing. What they have done is incredible, but it’s in our hands.”
Domestic treble-chasing City have won 11 Premier League games in a row and with Liverpool also in unrelenting form it appears likely they will need to win their last three matches to lift the title.
It would be an unprecedented climax to the season if they do so, with no team having ever finished a top-flight campaign with 14 consecutive wins.
“We have been playing like this in the last six months and we have not had a break,” said Guardiola. “The players are incredible.”
City have won the Carabao Cup and face Watford in the FA Cup final on Saturday, 18 May. Their quadruple bid was ended by a Champions League quarter-final defeat by Tottenham one week ago.
|Race for the Premier League title|
|Date||Liverpool fixtures||Date||Man City fixtures|
|26 April||Huddersfield (H)||28 April||Burnley (A)|
|4 May||Newcastle (A)||6 May||Leicester (H)|
|12 May||Wolves (H)||12 May||Brighton (A)|
Guardiola is waiting for injury news on midfielder Fernandinho, who was hurt while blocking a second-half Paul Pogba shot and replaced by goalscorer Sane.
“We will see tomorrow,” said the former Bayern Munich coach. “He had a problem at half-time in both legs”.
Meanwhile, City captain Vincent Kompany says they cannot afford to drop any points.
“It’s significant because it’s a derby,” the Belgium centre-back said.
“In the league, nothing is played out yet. Burnley is a difficult away game next and there is plenty to play for, both for us and Liverpool.
“We need three wins. We cannot expect the opponent to drop points.”