Pep Guardiola believes it will take a significant drop in Arsenal’s performance levels for Manchester City to catch them at the top of the Premier League.
After the leaders were held to a draw by Newcastle on Tuesday, Champions City will go to Chelsea on Thursday with the potential to close the gap on the Gunners to five points once again.
Guardiola believes City will have limited room for mistake for the rest of the season, despite being impressed by what he witnessed from Mikel Arteta’s side.
“The way to reduce the gap is by playing good and winning games,” said Guardiola at a press conference to preview the trip to Stamford Bridge.
“But they (Arsenal) are going to do 100 or more points the way they have gone so far. If they continue this way, we will not catch them.
“We have to be almost perfect, I would say, from here to the end of the season and hope they drop a little bit in their performance, because yesterday they were excellent. We will see what happens.”
Chelsea have won just one of their last seven Premier League games heading into Thursday’s encounter but Guardiola is not expecting a straightforward evening.
The game is the first of two back-to-back encounters with the Blues, as Graham Potter’s men visit the Etihad Stadium in the FA Cup on Sunday.