Pep Guardiola can't resist making joke after Manchester City's win at Chelsea

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Pep Guardiola can
Pep Guardiola can't resist making joke after Manchester City's win at Chelsea

Pep Guardiola's double substitution worked a treat as Manchester City cut Arsenal's lead to five points and he joked: “I'm a genius.”

The Blue Moon messiah sent on wingers Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez after an hour at Stamford Bridge – and within seven minutes they combined for the Algerian's sixth goal of the season for the winner. City's win piles the pressure on Chelsea boss Graham Potter, whose side have now taken just six points from a possible 24 and look long shots to finish in the top four.

Grealish admitted afterwards that City's dressing room was “lively” at the interval after a sloppy opening 45 minutes.

Guardiola admitted: “In the first half we didn't create much our pressing was so poor and we were not organised. Everything was sloppy, we had no rhythm, when we arrived in the positions we were not good.

“If Arsenal had beaten Newcastle the lead would have been 10 points – now the gap is five. I told the players not much has changed – there are 63 points left to play for, but there were people who believed in November that we would be champions again and this is impossible.

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“After winning the Premier League four times in five years, it's not easy to push the players again and that's why I am satisfied that we are right in there.

“We would prefer to be closer, but after the way Arsenal have played, they deserve to be there. In the second half we were miles, miles better in every department. It's a big result for us.

"The three points are important, definitely. The players know it, for a long time we were at the top. But we try, we have the FA Cup and Carabao Cup and then Old Trafford.”

Pep Guardiola can't resist making joke after Manchester City's win at ChelseaPep Guardiola's subs combined to score the winning goal at Stamford Bridge (MatchDay Images Limited)

But it's important for these games, a win today, then Old Trafford then Spurs, it's important for the top of the league."

Grealish said: "Half-time was lively. I’m not going to go into too much detail but the manager changed a few things and had a few words with us.

"We came out and for the first 25-30 minutes we dominated, had more chances and I think once we got the goal, it felt like we had control of the game.”

Pep Guardiola can't resist making joke after Manchester City's win at ChelseaJack Grealish set up Riyad Mahrez for Manchester City's winner against Chelsea (Getty Images)

Chelsea stay 10th, a distant 10 points off the top four, and Potter agreed their run of one win and just six points in the last eight games was not good enough. He admitted: “If you just analyse that, in terms of points in that amount of games ,it’s hard for me to argue against it. Obviously there’s factors you have to consider.

“The margins of the Premier League are fine and that’s a narrow defeat to Manchester City, it’s a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle with nine injuries, it’s a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal, it’s a bad day against Brighton, it’s a draw against Manchester United and it’s a draw away at Brentford.

“And obviously away at Nottingham Forest the other day. Points wise it’s hard to argue. The margins and the situations, for me I would say it’s more about how we play. And in terms of analysing how you can improve we took a step today, I thought. We were disappointed after Nottingham Forest but we took a step forward today in terms of our performance.

“We need to keep together and keep showing the performance level we did tonight, keep taking the challenges that come our way and stick together as a club.

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“Auba hasn't played for a while, he put in a real shift for us, Manchester City made him run a lot but I thought he did everything he could for the team.

"I understand that players want to stay on the pitch and influence the game, but I thought that was a normal reaction.”

Mike Walters

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