MANCHESTER, England -- Manchester City cut Liverpool's lead at the top of the Premier League to two points with a 3-1 victory over Arsenal, and manager Pep Guardiola believes the title race is back on.
City were beaten by Newcastle United in midweek but Liverpool missed the chance to move seven points clear when they were held at home by Leicester and face a trip to West Ham on Monday.
"After Newcastle, we already lose the Premier League, everybody said seven points and today we are two," Guardiola said.
"After the Newcastle game everybody was convinced, myself too, that Liverpool were going to beat Leicester and it would be seven points and it would be almost over.
"Now we are on two points and that's why we don't have to look too much at the table."
Sergio Aguero did the damage with a hat-trick but Guardiola was just as delighted with the Argentina striker's all-round performance.
"When people in the first year said I'm not friends with Sergio, sometimes I played Gabriel [Jesus] or [Raheem Sterling] as a striker, they were my decisions but I was always delighted [with Aguero]," Guardiola said.
"Today, it wasn't just that he scored three goals but for how he tried, fought, and worked. He gave absolutely everything for the team.
"I judge the intentions, not the results, and the intentions from Sergio were always perfect since we were together.
"Strikers need to score goals. When everyone asked me why Gabriel doesn't score goals, I said he's working perfectly and then he scored seven goals in a week. Strikers need it. Gabriel is going to play soon and score a lot of goals."
Aguero struck in the first minute -- just as he did at Newcastle in midweek -- but this time City were able to claim the three points.
But the controversy surrounded the third goal which Aguero admitted had gone in off his hand.
""It was important to win," he said. "The other day I scored early after 25 seconds and we lost, today I am very happy.
"It is important to fight every game and now we have to think about Everton because it will be so difficult against them."
On his third goal, he added: "I think it came off my chest, but now I see on TV it was a handball."