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Pep Guardiola: 'Maybe we can't compete with Liverpool'

Pep Guardiola: 'Maybe we can't compete with Liverpool'
© Reuters
The defending champions are way off Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola concedes Manchester City may no longer be able to match the standards of the best teams.

Guardiola's City have been the Premier League's outstanding side over the past two years, clocking up 100 points in 2017-18 and then retaining the title last term as part of a treble-winning campaign.

But this season has so far proved a reality check, with City falling 14 points behind leaders Liverpool after just 16 games following four defeats.

Manchester City trail Liverpool by 14 points after defeat in the Manchester derby
Manchester City trail Liverpool by 14 points after defeat in the Manchester derby (Martin Rickett/PA)

The latest of those losses came in a 2-1 reverse to rivals Manchester United in Saturday's derby at the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola hopes City will at least be able to learn from their setbacks.

The City boss said: "United have the quality to defend and the quality to attack on the counter-attack and you have to accept that.

"That is the level we face against Liverpool, United, Barcelona, Madrid, Juventus, they are the teams we have to face and the reality is maybe we are not able now to compete with them.

Manchester City v Watford – FA Cup Final – Wembley Stadium
The FA Cup is another trophy City will bid to retain (Nick Potts/PA)

"We have to improve and accept it and move forward. Maybe we need to live that as a club to improve, to accept the reality now and improve."

Guardiola, however, is not ready to give up on his side's title defence and there is also plenty more to play for in the remainder of the campaign.

City are already through to the last 16 of the Champions League ahead of Wednesday's final group game against Dinamo Zagreb.

They play in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals later this month as they bid to win that competition for a third successive season.

They have also been given a kind draw against League Two Port Vale for the start of their FA Cup defence next month.

Guardiola said: "The reality is we are 14 points behind for the mistakes we have done, for the quality of our opponents and especially, as well, the things we cannot control. That is the reality but we have to continue.

"We are at the beginning of December and we have other competitions to play in and other games to fight and improve on. Maybe this is going to help us for the future so we need to live this as a club to be better."

Despite that, Guardiola is not yet ready to start prioritising competitions.

He said: "We are not thinking of winning the Champions League, I am not thinking about how many points we need or how many points they have to drop. We are trying to win games, to win the next one."

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rhs 2.0
FA Cup
Championship
La Liga
Serie A
Bundesliga
Australian Open Third Round
Result
Girogi
Kerber
2 7  3
6 64 6
Result
Pavlyuchenkova
Pliskova
7  7 
64 63
Result
Vekic
Swiatek
5 3
7 6
Result
Monfils
Gulbis
7  6 6
62 4 3
Result
Bencic
Kontaveit
0 1
6 6
Result
Putintseva
Halep
1 4
6 6
Result
Fritz
Thiem
2 4 7  4
6 6 65 6
Result
Goffin
Rublev
6 63 4 64
2 7  6 7 
Result
Nadal
Carreno Busta
6 6 6
1 2 4
Result
Mertens
Bellis
6 65 6
1 7  0
Result
Isner
Wawrinka
4 1
6 4
(ret.)
7.50am
Kyrgios
Khachanov
8am
Verdasco
Zverev
8am
Svitolina
Muguruza
10am
Medvedev
Popyrin
10.30am
Diyas
Bertens
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Scottish League Two
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Gallagher Premiership
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23221054153967
2Manchester CityMan City24163565273851
3Leicester CityLeicester24153652242848
4Chelsea2412484132940
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd249783629734
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs249783832634
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2481063532334
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd248972523233
9Southampton2494113142-1131
10Arsenal2461263234-230
11Crystal Palace247982228-630
12Everton2486102835-730
13Burnley2493122838-1030
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2486102436-1230
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2467112734-725
16Aston Villa2474133145-1425
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham2365122738-1123
18Bournemouth2465132337-1423
19Watford2458112136-1523
20Norwich CityNorwich2445152447-2317

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