Manchester City benefited from two strokes of fortune as they beat Leicester City 2-1 in the Premier League on Saturday to close in on a Champions League qualifying berth.
Mahrez saw his converted second-half spot kick ruled out for touching the ball twice as Leicester pushed for an equaliser, but Manchester City held firm for an important, if not wholly convincing, victory.
Eagle-eyed referee Robert Madley correctly applied the law and Manchester City breathed deeply before seeing out the remainder of the game to stay on course for Champions League qualification. Teammate Raheem Sterling, who was offside, swung a leg at it but didn't touch it and the goal was allowed to stand. Well done [to referee Bobby Madley for spotting Mahrez's double hit].
Manchester City now need four points from the remaining two games against West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday and Watford away on Sunday to be certain of a top-four finish although a win should be enough due to their superior goal difference.
'That's our target, our goal, to win the next two games.
"Pablo is a real legend in what he has done in this club", said Guardiola.
Shinji Okazaki's stunning volley just before halftime re-energised Leicester though and City could have had few complaints had Mahrez's penalty earned the visitors a draw.
City has had problems dealing with Leicester's counter-attacking style and pace on the break, losing 3-1 at home last season and then 4-2 in December.
City's lack of a killer edge, which Guardiola constantly bemoans, could have been punished when Albrighton almost equalised in the second half from a Jamie Vardy pass. "He is blocking my view, he goes for the ball".
"The first goal was offside", Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel, who argued he was distracted by Sterling, told Sky Sports. I remember at that time Sir Alex Ferguson and the "noisy neighbours".
Despite being reduced to a more marginal role under the current manager, the 32-year-old's significance is not lost on Guardiola ahead of what is likely to be an emotional farewell to the Etihad Stadium against West Brom on Tuesday. With three games remaining, City remain in a race for the last Champions League spot in the Premier League with Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool.
With third-from-bottom Hull City in action 24 hours later 17th-placed Swansea moved four points clear of their rivals with goals by Fernando Llorente and Kyle Naughton.