"Everyone is excited about the next weeks but we also know we can lose everything".
In the league games since they beat Tottenham, Sarri's side needed an inspired display from goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga to narrowly beat lowly Fulham, while it took a last-minute equaliser from Eden Hazard to rescue a home draw against Wolves.
He had also been made to move out of his city-centre apartment amid fears that he was too easily distracted by life in the middle of Manchester.
Had the game ended 1-1, the Citizens would have gone in to Wednesday's game with Cardiff knowing they'd remain top of the league even if they lost but there's no let up now and victory will only see them edge ahead again by a point.
"We had to find a way to win football games more often than in the past, that's what until now kind of worked".
Mendy was subsequently late arriving for treatment on a knee injury the next day and was told to avoid the first team for a week.
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"He didn't train last two days, tomorrow he is not able to play", Guardiola said.
"Hopefully next Saturday, next Thursday but we will see the evolution of the next days".
"It's really important, but he is still a little bit far away from his best condition", said Guardiola, of Fernandinho. I said, 'It's not always that you have to play good.
"What's next is Cardiff, so we'll prepare well, and go like a machine to win, to play, and try to win".
"Tomorrow he is going to help us and fight and score goals".
"But we need Kevin, we need of course people like Vincent (Kompany), Phil (Foden), so the next game we're going to make a few changes". It is a final for us every single game. I think there is.
"Then I saw the story".
Kewvin McDonald came on for Babel for Fulham, with Riyad Mahrez replacing Sterling for City, the home side creating one last half-chance to set up a dramatic finish when Schurrle's low ball into the area took a couple of unsafe deflections before being held by Ederson.