Ilkay Gundogan insists the Premier League title race is not over, despite Manchester City racking up a double-digit lead over bitter rivals Manchester United.
Pep Guardiola’s in-form side took their winning run to a record 14 top-flight matches within a single season by emerging triumphant at Old Trafford.
Nicolas Otamendi volleyed home to wrap up a memorable 2-1 win that was met by mass celebrations by all connected to City – merrymaking that got under the skin of the hosts and led to a post-match fracas.
Gundogan kept quiet on any such issues after the game, but was open when it was put to the defensive midfielder that many say the title race is effectively over given their 11-point cushion over second-place United after 16 games.
“It doesn’t feel like that, to be honest,” the Germany international said. “It feels like we gained three very important points – not more, not less. Of course we are very happy about the way we played.
“We knew that it is going to be difficult because they have very quick players up front, strong players, so we expected a lot of long balls. But the way we defend, especially our back four defend these kind of balls, was amazing today.
“We were brave enough to play, or to play our game. In my opinion, I think I can speak for the whole team, it is a fully-deserved win.”
Gundogan believes City are playing “completely the right way”, having dominated large parts of a match that looked to be going the visitors’ way even before David Silva opened the scoring.
Marcus Rashford quickly brought United level, but Otamendi’s winner wrapped up a win that led to wild celebrations.
“I think United had an unbeaten run – I don’t know how many games – here at home,” Gundogan said. “It’s definitely not easy to come here, to play the way we’ve played and especially to win that game.
“So, yeah, it was about a lot of mentality, about a lot of heart and bravery to do these kind of things.
“We just felt like that we are the deserved winners of this game and that’s why we were so happy after the final whistle. Obviously it was a special game as well. It was not just a game. That all made it special.”
Gundogan might not think the Premier League title race is over, but the majority of others certainly do think so.
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