Football

Guardiola admits a lost cause chasing Blues, but Pochettino retains belief

Guardiola admits it's a lost cause chasing Blues, but Pochettino retains belief

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has admitted that the gap to English Premier League leaders Chelsea is all but insurmountable, despite his side's victory at Sunderland yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Man City's 2-0 win on Wearside left them eight points adrift of the Blues, but their manager doesn't retain any real hope of reining them in.

Guardiola said: "We have three more points. We are there behind, of course, Chelsea because they are almost unstoppable, but we are there for the rest of the teams.

"It's a pity that the distance between Chelsea and us is so big, but that's true.

"We started the season with 10 games winning, but our game was not like today. We are playing quite well and that's why we are getting results.

"But now, of course, we are in a position when you arrive in March and April, every game if you win, you stay; if you lose, you are out.

"In the EPL, in the cup, in the Champions League... The players know, we know, the club know, if we are not able to win the next game, we will be out."

Guardiola may feel that it's a lost cause trying to catch the Blues, but Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino believes it is not mission impossible after watching his side beat Everton 3-2 at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Harry Kane's double meant Spurs were in control for the majority of the contest until Romelu Lukaku's strike with 10 minutes left sparked a chaotic finish.

Dele Alli restored the two-goal cushion in stoppage time only for Everton substitute Enner Valencia to add what proved a consolation seconds later.

The result moves Pochettino's men six points ahead of Arsenal in fifth, although the Gunners have a game in hand, while cutting the gap behind Chelsea to seven points.

The league leaders can restore their 10-point lead if they beat West Ham this morning, but Pochettino said overcoming Everton proves his side have not yet given up hope of winning the title.

"The most important thing is to show the belief on the pitch and, today, we showed that," Pochettino said.

CLUB RECORD

"More than talking, it is better the team show their performance because (regarding) belief the answer is very easy.

"We need to be there, it's not up to us, of course, but it's up to us to be ready if they fail."

The win was also Tottenham's ninth in a row at home, a club record in the Premier League and the first time they have reached the mark in a single season since 1987.

Kane was instrumental again, scoring his 13th and 14th goals in 12 appearances this year and he is now the division's top-scorer, one ahead of Lukaku with 19.

His tally is all the more impressive given he sat out five league games with an ankle injury earlier in the season, although the striker may now be benefitting from that time off.

Pochettino insists his form is down to hard work.

"He does a lot of double sessions, he is professional, takes care of himself and, because of that, he is fresh," said Pochettino.

"To be fresh, you need to work hard every day. If you just eat and sleep, maybe you are like me, you are fat!

"He is at a very good level, but not only now.

"If you watch him from when he started to play regularly in the Premier League, his stats are unbelievable.

"He is a fantastic asset to have. He has shown that he's one of the best strikers."

- PA SPORT

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