Pep Guardiola re-asserted his belief that the Premier League title race is over and that Manchester City have no chance of catching “unstoppable” Liverpool after his team lost 2-0 to Tottenham on Sunday.
City fell to their sixth league defeat of the season against Spurs to leave the Reds’ lead of 22 points – a record gap for any team at the top in the history of the English top flight – in tact after they beat Southampton on Saturday.
Jose Mourinho’s Spurs saw off the champions thanks to goals from Son Heung-min and debutant Steven Bergwijn, with the visitors finishing with 10 men following the sending off of defender Oleksandr Zinchenko.
And afterwards Guardiola, when asked if the title his team won in 2018 and 2019 had slipped away for good, was decisive in his response.
“Yes, we are far away,” he said. “[Liverpool] are unstoppable with a lot of points, we drop points in games that are quite similar today, even when we play at Anfield.
“Now we target other competitions and to qualify for the Champions League next season.
“Two seasons ago we had 100 points, 19 [clear of Manchester] United and Mourinho, and I don’t know how many from Liverpool. In that period Liverpool were strong, they’re stronger right now
“Today is not the day to reveal what you have to do. The reality against United [in the League Cup semi-final] is we conceded one shot on target, we created incredible amounts of chances and lost the game and today is quite similar.
“Against that it’s difficult to find a solution. What do we have to do? I don’t know.”
City peppered the Tottenham goal with shots throughout the afternoon, registering 17 efforts on goal including a penalty from Ilkay Gundogan that was saved by Hugo Lloris.
Spurs by contrast managed only three efforts on goal as they won to climb to fourth in the table and stay in touch with the Champions League places.
“We are there, we are in the box, in the penalty spot, alone with the keeper with two players and we are not able to score a goal," said Guardiola.
“Maybe one day we make a click and it changes, the team is good, I like the way we play, but it’s not enough. The distance is so big [to Liverpool], next season we have to do better.”