Ruben Dias reckons the standard in the Premier League has gone up – making it harder than ever to win the title.

Manchester City earned a hard-fought 2-1 win at Aston Villa on Wednesday, to keep up the pressure on league leaders Chelsea, in what has become a three-way tussle for the title.

Chelsea, City and Liverpool all won this week, to move clear of West Ham in fourth, with the trio set to battle it out for the title over the next six months.

Dias, who scored the opener in City's win at Villa Park, said: “I think the level has gone up.

“Obviously that's good for the league, good for whoever is watching and good for us as well, because we want to be the best so we want to play against the best.”

Dias' goal against Aston Villa was his first since February (

Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

City won at Villa without Kevin De Bruyne, who is making his way back from Covid, and Phil Foden, who is back from injury but who remained an unused sub.

On City coping without key players, Dias said: “Obviously it's a mission for the teams to have everyone available every time.

“Whenever that doesn’t happen, it's a moment in which we need to be extra focused and extra ready.

“Obviously we want everyone available every time, to make the best decisions possible. But the team showed that we are a team, in every sense of the word.

“It was a very important win, especially with the way we played. If anyone thought that we didn’t have our full team, I think the team answered that. Whoever plays, we have a full team.

“We just think about the next game. All of the rest, the maths, we will do it at the end. Win the next game, and the next one, and the next one. That's the way to do it.”

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