Pep Guardiola insisted his players “will try to be calm” in the title race after seeing Liverpool limp to a 1-1 draw with West Ham on Monday.
Guardiola acknowledged that people believed his City side were "already done” after defeat to Newcastle last week left Liverpool the chance to extend their lead to seven points at the top of the table.
But after Jurgen Klopp’s side stuttered to two consecutive draws - against Leicester and West Ham – City now have the chance to go top of the league on goal difference with a win against Everton at Goodison Park on Wednesday.
“Three or four days ago we were already done, the champions were Liverpool and now we can be leading,” Guardiola said.
“We try to be calm. There will be surprises and it will be tough for teams to win every game.
“The non-contenders have the ability to create problems. What I’m more concerned about is never forget who we are as a team, doing what we have to do. That’s what I want to watch, and after we see about the results, the table.”
Guardiola also insisted that it wasn’t a straight duel between himself and Klopp at the top of the table and that Chelsea and Manchester United – lying 12 and 14 points off the top respectively – could also still mount a title charge.
“I never said Tottenham is not there. If United make this run of victories every single week they will be there to fight for the Premier League.
“Now we judge the champions when we see the table and we don’t look further than the top two or three but if Chelsea are able to win games in a row they will be a contender to win the Premier League.
“Everybody is there. The gap is not too big. There are 39 points to play for. When you are nine or ten points behind it is not too much. Seeing what happened right now, everybody is ready to take points.”
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies