Manchester City control Champions League destiny, says Pep Guardiola
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 06/05/17 4:42pm
Pep Guardiola says Manchester City's run of three home matches will prove decisive in their bid to secure Champions League qualification.
City moved above Liverpool into third place with an impressive 5-0 win over Crystal Palace at the Etihad on Saturday.
They host Leicester live on Sky Sports next Saturday and West Brom the week after before concluding the season at Watford on May 21.
Top-four rivals Arsenal and Manchester United go head-to-head on Nissan Super Sunday, while Southampton visit Anfield.
But Guardiola insists City's Champions League hopes remain "in their hands" and the Spaniard is targeting maximum points from their next two home games.
"We are in a mini-league for the three home games so we decide in those three games [if] we are able to qualify for the Champions League or not," Guardiola told Sky Sports.
Watch Arsenal v Man Utd for just 6.99!
Grab a Sky Sports Day Pass and strap yourself in for a blockbuster Super Sunday as Arsenal face their old foe Man Utd
"Liverpool are strong and Arsenal and United, they are not going to give up. But it's in our hands. If we win these two games, we can travel to London to fight to be third.
"Now we will rest one week and think about the last Premier League winner [Leicester City]. I know how difficult it will be.
"They made an amazing performance in the Champions League and with [Jamie] Vardy, [Riyad] Mahrez, we have to pay attention. We have a big chance if we are able to win that game, after we will be closer to our target."
City have dropped points at home to Liverpool, Manchester United and Stoke in recent weeks and Guardiola said better finishing proved to be the difference against Palace.
"We played with a good spirit and in the right moment we scored a goal," he added. "We scored in the first minutes of the first half and the second minute of the second half. This helped a lot.
"We knew against teams like this 1-0 is not enough. It was quite similar to a lot of our games, we created a lot of chances and today we scored five goals.
"We could have scored five more. It has happened all season."
Guardiola also paid tribute to Palace, saying: "Just one month ago they won at Stamford Bridge and Anfield and against Arsenal 3-0, no problems at all.
"That's why I give a lot of credit to what they have done because [Christian] Benteke, [Wilfried] Zaha, the set-pieces, they are a strong team.
"Our performance was a high level and today when we played at 2-0 it was easy. But I remember a lot of games at 1-0 we were not able to score the second goal."