The manager of Manchester City, Pep Guardiola knows that at this point of the season, his team would need all the support available in the game to win their 5th Premier League title since 2011. The Spanish tactician urged Southampton to beat their closest rivals, Liverpool 4-0 to hand City the 2021-2022 league title before the last game of the season.
Recall that on Sunday, May 15, 2022, Manchester City almost lost their leadership of the Premier League table when they met with West Ham United. The London club took the lead as early as the 24th minute through the boots of Jarrod Bowen.
When most football enthusiasts thought the goal was a fluke, West Ham United staged another counter-attack which Bowen converted in the 45th minute to make it 2-0.
But in the second half, Jack Grealish’s 49th-minute goal and an own goal helped Manchester City to draw 2-2. The current table leaders almost stole the entire three points when the referee awarded a penalty to City in the late minute of the game but Riyad Mahrez missed the spot-kick.
The 2-2 draw means that the Premier League title race is still wide open as Manchester City are currently topping the league table with 90 points in 37 games, four points above second-placed Liverpool which still have a game in hand.
Liverpool is scheduled to play their 37th Premier League game of the season against 15th placed Southampton on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. The match will kick off at St Mary’s Stadium at 19:45.
If Liverpool win the Premier League game, they will be one point behind Manchester City which means that the Premier League title race will last until the last matchday of the season which is on May 22, 2022.
Pep Guardiola wants Southampton to help stop Liverpool before the final game of the season
In his post-match press conference after the 2-2 draw with West Ham United, coach Pep Guardiola urged Southampton to beat Liverpool 4-0. If that manage to happen, Manchester City will go into the final game of the season with 4 points which is enough for Guardiola and his boys to be crowned champions of the league.
If Southampton fail to beat Liverpool, Manchester City will be condemned to beat Aston Villa coached by Liverpool’s legend Steven Gerrard. While Liverpool are also condemned to beat Wolves on May 22.
A defeat to City and a win in favor of Liverpool on May 22 will automatically earn Liverpool the 2021-2022 Premier League title for the second time in three years.
Coach Pep Guardiola does not want all that drama, hence, he is hoping that Southampton would help Manchester City to finish the job on Tuesday.
When asked what his message to Southampton was, Pep Guardiola said: “I would say, beat Liverpool four-zero!”
He added: “The big, big privilege we have is that, at home, it’s in our hands. We don’t have to look at anything else other than ourselves. We just have to give everything.
“I said [to the players], ‘Don’t be sad today because we gave a really good performance. It’s fair, against this opponent, to arrive at the last day to decide who gets the title because both teams are so good.
“Against this Liverpool, you cannot win the league four games ago. You have to fight until the end.
“Next week our stadium will be sold out, we will give them our lives and they will give theirs, all together. To do it is an incredible privilege, after many years.
“To have our chance with our people, to win one game to be champions. I’m looking forward to it.”
Pep Guardiola jokingly told Southampton to "beat Liverpool 4-0" when asked if he had a message for the Reds' opponents on Tuesday after Manchester City's 2-2 draw with West Ham… 🎙️💬 pic.twitter.com/V66OlisL3i— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 16, 2022
Below are Manchester City and Liverpool’s remaining games for the 2021-2022 season:
Manchester City vs Aston Villa
May 22 (Etihad Stadium).
Southampton vs Liverpool
Tuesday, May 17 (St Mary’s Stadium)
Liverpool vs Wolves
May 22 (Anfield Stadium).