Manchester City’s title ambitions were dealt a massive blow when they lost a heated derby against Manchester United on Sunday. The defeat meant they are now fourteen points behind league-leaders Liverpool and six behind second-placed Leicester City.
Pep Guardiola’s side has struggled to cope without centre-back Aymeric Laporte, who is expected to return in January after making progress on his injury. But the Citizens are still too far away from the top and the loss to United really hurt them.
But Guardiola accepted the result and praised City’s arch-rivals good work to get out a win from the Etihad Stadium. He said, “[Manchester] United have the quality to defend and the quality to attack on the counter-attack and you have to accept that.”
The Spaniard also admitted that perhaps his side isn’t strong enough to compete with the big sides and need to improve to get to their level.
He explained, “That is the level we face against Liverpool, Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus. They are the teams we have to face and the reality is maybe we are not able now to compete with them.”
“Maybe we need to live that as a club to improve, to accept the reality now and improve.”, he further added, putting more emphasis on how his side must work harder to only get better.
He also admitted that City has been the biggest reasons for their own problems, explaining how their self-created mistakes have resulted in the dropped points.
He exclaimed, “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.”
While he went onto express how City will be looking towards picking up form in the other competitions they’re participating in, he refused to reveal whether his side will not be gunning for the UEFA Champions League, instead stating his side will take things one game at a time.
Pep explained, “We are at the beginning of December and we have other competitions to play in and other games to fight and improve on.”
“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.”
City will travel down to face Serbian side Dinamo Zagreb in their final Champions League group stage encounter, having already progressed as group winners.
He’ll look to pick up a big win to rejuvenate his side before the defending champions face struggling Arsenal at the weekend, where they’ll look to bounce back from the derby defeat in emphatic fashion.