Manuel Akanji says Manchester City are not worried about a Premier League title run despite losing to Arsenal.
Josep Guardiola’s side drew 1-1 against Everton on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium after Erling Haaland’s finish was annulled by a superb strike by Demarai Grey.
With Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal beating Brighton & Hove Albion, that means defending champions City are now seven points behind the top.
However, Akanji is not bothered by this as City have yet to face their title rivals.
“It’s the middle of the season,” he told City’s official website. “Of course Arsenal are in first place, but at the end of the day, there are still many games to come.
“We have to play them twice. We will keep up the pressure and try to win our next game and keep going. There is still a long way to go.”
21 – Despite this year’s World Cup break, Erling Haaland’s 21 goals is the most goals scored by a player before the start of the year in a single Premier League season. Pontoon. pic.twitter.com/yhGygfpnE7
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 31, 2022
It wasn’t the first time City had seen their firepower neutralized by cracks in their defensive line, and Gray’s goal was Everton’s only shot.
That their dominance with the ball was undone by a defensive miss hasn’t escaped the attention of Akanji, who believes they have to keep a clean sheet to stay in the game.
“We’ve had enough chances and we have to keep a draw in a game like this,” he added. “We can’t give the opponent a chance to score.
“This is what we should [do] better next game. One point is not enough of these 90 minutes.
“We tried to dominate the game. I think we did well and we had enough chances to score a goal. In the end, we must be able to keep a clean slate.
“There are some tough games ahead of us where the opponents defend well and we have to work better. We need to be more focused
“If we can do it, maybe next time we will be better. This is something we need to improve.”