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Mahrez urges Man City not to let up in title charge

Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez has warned Manchester City they cannot afford to let standards slip if they are to achieve their dreams despite strengthening their position at the top of the Premier League table.

The reigning champions will head into Christmas sitting three points clear of second-placed Liverpool and six better off than Chelsea in third following Sunday's 4-0 win at lowly Newcastle after both their closest rivals could only manage draws.

It was City's eighth successive league victory and their 34th in 2021 – a new record for a calendar year, beating the Reds' tally of 33 in 1982 – but Mahrez knows there is no room for complacency.

He told the club's official website: "We are in very good form. I don't know if it's our best form, but we are in very good form and we have to keep going.

"We have to not drop it because at this moment in the year, there are a lot of games and it's difficult, everyone can drop points and we have to keep focused."

Manager Pep Guardiola was unhappy with his side's first-half display at St James' Park, even though they went in at the break two goals to the good courtesy of Ruben Dias' close-range header and Joao Cancelo's superb strike, but consoled himself with the consistency which allowed them to eclipse Liverpool's record.

Mahrez said: "We try to be consistent, otherwise you wouldn't win leagues and trophies. The most important thing is to be consistent.

"Sometimes it's not easy, but we have to try to be focused in every game and give everything because we know we have the quality to arrive there at the end, so we have to keep going.

"We're in a very good moment and we have to keep it up and keep going."

Second-half goals from Mahrez – his 50th for the club – and Raheem Sterling completed a regulation victory on Tyneside five days after a 7-0 demolition of Leeds, but the Algeria international insisted personal landmarks were secondary.

He said: "I feel good, I feel good at the moment. As long as it helps the team to achieve and to win football games, that's all that matters for me.

"Obviously, it's always good to score, but everyone needs to give his contribution to win games, that's the most important thing.

"We're in a good moment. We try to take each game as it comes and try to win it. We had an OK first half, not as usual, but sometimes it's part of the game. It's not always we're going to play so well and score so many goals.

"We scored two goals in the first half which put us in control of the game and in the second half, we played very well and deserved to score more goals."