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Pep piles on the pressure

All you need
is glove:
Aguero
celebrates his
opening goal
after just 46
seconds at
the Etihad PICTURES: PA/GETTY

PEP GUARDIOLA turned up the heat on Manchester City’s title rivals Liverpool after Sergio Aguero’s hat-trick saw off Arsenal and cut the gap at the top to two points.

The City boss revealed he had thought the battle for the championship was ‘almost over’ after their defeat to Newcastle but declared his team were back on form and knows Jurgen Klopp’s men, who dropped two points in a 1-1 draw against Leicester last week, face a tough task to beat West Ham tonight.

‘I understand pressure, pressure to win the games,’ said Guardiola.

‘After the game in Newcastle, Liverpool were [expected to go] seven points ahead and now they are two. Of course they [still] have to play but West Ham are a good side.

‘Everybody was convinced, myself too, Liverpool were going to beat Leicester, and it would be almost over. Now we are two points. I prefer to be in the position of Liverpool. The pressure is when you are behind.’

Aguero admitted his third goal in the 3-1 win was fortunate after it went in off his arm, saying: ‘I think it came off my chest but, now I see on TV, it was a handball.’