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Guardiola has sympathy for his title rivals; MANAGER SAYS UNITED AND CHELSEA HAVE HAD AMAZING SEASONS.

Byline: JAMES ROBSON james.robson@men-news.co.uk @JAMESROBSONMEN

PEP Guardiola insists there should be no pressure on Jose Mourinho or Antonio Conte for failing to live with his rampant City.

Guardiola is expecting both United and Chelsea to spend in January in a desperate bid to claw back the runaway Premier League leaders.

But he claims his rivals should not be blamed for their faltering title challenges after what has been a record-breaking start City.

Guardiola's team take an 11-point lead into this weekend after an unprecedented winning run of 16 straight games.

Asked if he sympathised for Mourinho and Conte, who have been criticised for their inability to keep pace with City, the Catalan said: "Of course. United and Chelsea are making points to be champions.

"I have a lot of respect for the others. Chelsea have played 10, won eight, drawn one and lost just one. Those are numbers to be champions.

"When it happens, those teams can have no complaints.

"United are the same. They are having an amazing season.

"I'm glad to be where we are. I would have liked to be here at the beginning of the season, but I didn't expect it.

"I repeat, this is not normal. This is not a situation I am used to.

"I expect to lose games and drop more points, but I am glad."

" City could actually extend their lead to 14 points over United by theChelsea have time Jose Mour-inho's side kick off at Leicester this evening.

10, won eight, one and lost Those are be champions Pep Guardiola They host Bournemouth at home earlier in the day, in a game they are expected to win.

Guardiola is adamant it is too soon to crown his side champions - and expects United and Chelsea to hit the market in January as they attempt to reignite the title race.

"They are trying to beat us and we are trying to beat them," he added. "We passed a real tough week last week against United, Swansea and Tottenham - the middle one especially, mentally - but now it is the same.

"We are going to fight to continue to be unbeaten. That is not going to happen, we will be beaten.

"But we are going to fight to be unbeaten.

played drawn just one. numbers to "There is no doubt about that because of the way we played at Leicester, the way we play against Tottenham and Swansea - the players showed me they are still hungry to win another game.

"We will drop points and then after that, we will see how we react.

"There are still a lot of points to win and games to play.

"Making a lot of plans for the future is a big mistake."

could to host at going to beaten. "But fight " of still another "We Chelsea have played 10, won eight, drawn one and lost just one. Those are numbers to be champions Pep Guardiola

CAPTION(S):

Pep Guardiola says Jose Mourinho should not be under pressure because of City's impressive season

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 23, 2017
Words:508
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