Men's Team

Mahrez looking to points not Christmas omens

Riyad Mahrez says points rather than omens are all that matters as Premier League leaders City gear up for a decisive second half to the season.

Our top scorer this season, the Algerian registered his 11th strike of the campaign to help Pep Guardiola’s side record a 4-0 win away at Newcastle on Sunday.

It also marked Mahrez’s 50th career goal for City with victory ensuring that City would remain top of the table at Christmas.

On the previous two occasions we have achieved that feat – December 2011 and 2017 – we went on to lift the title.

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For Mahrez however, rather than look to history, his focus is all about the here and now and maintaining the standards that have helped propel the reigning champions back into top spot.

“I don’t know [if every time City have been top at Christmas they have won the league] is a good omen,” Mahrez said.

“I don’t really believe in superstitions and these types of things. I just believe in winning games and trying to be there until the end.

“We just have to keep going and we are in a very good moment. We just try to take it one game at a time and try to win it.

“We will see where we will be at the end.”

Sunday's clash proved another landmark occasion for City, with the victory seeing us create two new English records for most wins in a calendar year (34) and most top-flight away victories in a year too (18).

The St James’ Park success also made it eight successive league wins for the reigning champions on a day which saw us extend our lead over Liverpool to three points.

Mahrez though says that records, although a superb reflection of our consistency and excellence, are of secondary importance.

“The numbers do not matter,” the Algerian added.

“We just have to win game after game and try to play good to win the game. That is the most important thing.

“The numbers at the end, if we make a lot of wins, it is nice to know.

“But the most important thing is just to focus on the next game.”

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