The Premier League has a title race; can Man City handle the pressure?

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Pressure, heat of battle, mind games: they are all key elements of every title battle -- apart from when a team wins the Premier League by 19 points and leaves the rest trailing in their wake.

Manchester City were so utterly dominant last season that the usual rules of engagement did not apply to Pep Guardiola's team. Indeed, such was City's brilliance that the "race" for the finish line became more a procession rather than an examination of their credentials.

But after Chelsea's 2-0 victory over the champions at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, the missing ingredients are back where they belong, and City now face a different test if they are to retain their crown at the end of this campaign. This season will be about pressure and how the leaders deal with nike nfl jerseys free shipping

"The objective is to get one more point than our rivals, but at the moment, Liverpool are better than us," Guardiola said. "Yesterday, we were favourites, but Liverpool are favourites now. They are top and they are unbeaten. Our level is similar to last season, but our opponents are stronger.4

"There is no sport in the world where one team is always winning," the City manager continued. "That is an illusion. Part of the competition is that you can lose. We dominated possession [against Chelsea], had a thousand-million passes, but Chelsea beat us by scoring on the breakaway. That is what happens."

Every title race has a defining moment that marks a fork in the road for the teams involved at the sharp end, and it will take something hugely significant to top Divock Origi's stoppage-time winner for Liverpool against Everton last week.

The net result of those two moments, as well as David Luiz's second-half header, is that Liverpool's title bid has been given a turbo boost with his last-gasp winner and made City realise they are locked in a genuine fight for the title.

Had Origi not nodded home in the 96th minute of the Merseyside derby, City would have gone into last midweek's fixture list with a four-point lead and the psychological advantage of seeing their closest challenger slip. Instead, they had the pressure point back upon nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Liverpool's fighting spirit and never-say-die resolve propelled them forward into subsequent victories at Burnley and Bournemouth, meaning City with no margin for error at Watford and Chelsea if they were to retain top spot after 16 games of the season.

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