EPL

No letting up: Rodri knows a slip could be costly for Manchester City

By Sports Desk March 29, 2024

Rodri admits Manchester City cannot afford a single slip-up as they bid to secure a second consecutive trophy treble.

City head into Sunday’s showdown with Arsenal a point behind the Premier League leaders and will then face eight games in April, including a two-legged Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid and FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea.

Victory over Mikel Arteta’s side could go a long way towards securing an unprecedented fourth straight Premier League title and would also extend Rodri’s remarkable unbeaten run in all competitions to 62 matches.

“It’s a very, very important match,” said the Spain midfielder, whose last defeat came for his national side against Scotland on March 28 last year.

“I’m not saying it’s going to be decisive, but it will be very important for the mental fight in the sense of if we are able to beat them it will be very important for our confidence, and we will show them that we are here again.

“It’s not just this game that’s like a final, it’s all of them from now until the end of the season. We’re still in every competition, but any game that you lose can practically leave you out of the running.

“Really that’s the level that this league demands from you, to reach between 90 and 100 points to be able to win the league.

“So, we have to win practically every game and that starts against Arsenal, who are currently the league leaders.”

Liverpool are the only side apart from City to lift the Premier League trophy in the last six seasons, while Arsenal’s most recent title triumph came 20 years ago.

“Of course we have the experience from previous years in managing these situations of being in multiple competitions,” Rodri added.

“When you get into the dynamic of playing every three days at the highest level you enter this competitive rhythm which can help you reach a very high level – it’s true with very high physical demands – and we’re going to have to manage that well.

“That’s why the whole team will be important from now until the end of the season and it’s one of the keys to success.

“We have to play with confidence like we have in the last years and be humble enough to run more than the opponent and do more than the opponent if we want to win.

“The target for us is to put ourselves into a position where we can fight until the end, and this is something we have been working on and to arrive in this moment.

“Now is the moment that we have to do the last push. The goal is to fight for everything. Our objective is basically this; if we were able to show that we could win everything we won last season, then why can’t we do it again?”

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