Challenge accepted – Guardiola not giving up on Premier League title

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Pep Guardiola is ready to run the gauntlet of a tough fixture list as he seeks to revive Manchester City's Premier League title campaign after Tuesday's shock loss to Newcastle United.

City surrendered an early lead to go down 2-1 at St James' Park, affording Liverpool the opportunity to move seven points clear at the summit if they should beat Leicester City at Anfield on Wednesday.

Guardiola had already acknowledged that his side could ill-afford to drop any more points in defence of their crown and a tricky run of games will apply further pressure on the holders.

After hosting Arsenal on Sunday, City head to Everton and then welcome Chelsea, but Guardiola struck a defiant tone as the champions remain in the hunt for silverware on four fronts.

"The next week will be tough with Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea," said the Catalan after his 100th English top-flight game at the helm ended in disappointment. 

"We are in January and we are behind the leaders but there are a lot of titles and points to play for.

"Sometimes things go your way and sometimes they don't – we have just won eight games in a row and scored 30 goals without reply but sometimes things don't go your way.

"We had a chance to reduce the lead. When you are behind you have to win games and we couldn't do that.

"I know the challenge is big, being in all competitions is what it is. If you want to go up as a club you have to accept that challenge. I prefer to be in that position."