Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says his side cannot compare to Liverpool’s recent form in the Premier League.
Liverpool are top of the table after 20 games and ahead of Man City by 10 points, although the reigning champions have a game in hand.
Five key things to know about Liverpool’s recent form
- Liverpool have yet to lose a game in the Premier League this season and have not lost a league match at Anfield since April 2017.
- They have won nine league games in a row, conceding just three times in the process.
- Man City, meanwhile, have lost three of their previous four games and have not kept a clean sheet in six top-flight games.
- Even a win over Southampton on Saturday would leave City seven points off Liverpool.
- However, they can reduce this to four points on Thursday by beating the Reds at the Etihad.
Last season’s champions Man City have fallen of the pace in the last fortnight with back-to-back defeats in the league against Crystal Palace and Leicester City.
With the Reds’ form significantly better than their own ahead of the new year, Guardiola has conceded that his team can’t match up to Jurgen Klopp’s men.
“We did well so far,” he told reporters.
“We got 44 points in the first round. If you get the same number of points in the second round, that’s 88 points. With 88 points, you are champions. You have the numbers to be champions.
“Most of the Premier League champions in the past 20 years won it with less points. We did quite well. We did really well.
“But of course you have the past two games, against Crystal Palace and Leicester, and you have that sense, because there are two teams there now who are better than us in the last month.”
Guardiola added: “What can we say when Liverpool keep nine clean sheets and score a lot of goals? We cannot compete with that in terms of comparing with them.
“So we look at ourselves, and tomorrow against Southampton, we have to do what we do, and try to win, and when that happens, everything comes back to a normal position.”
A hat-trick from Roberto Firmino and single efforts from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were enough to sink Arsenal at Anfield on Saturday evening.
Liverpool’s win puts them nine points ahead of City before they play their game in hand against Southampton on Sunday afternoon. A win for City would see them return to second place, only six points behind Liverpool before they face them at the Etihad on 3 January.
Can Man City catch Liverpool?
City secured 100 points last season in a record-breaking campaign. The Citizens could still break that record this season, but they would have to win all 19 of their remaining fixtures to do so.
With undefeated Liverpool showing no signs of slowing down, City will have to be almost perfect to win back-to-back titles this season, which is something that City midfielder Bernardo Silva acknowledges will be a difficult task.
“We started quite well but we weren’t able to play as usual and in the end they scored an amazing goal,” Silva told the BBC.
Liverpool have not lost a Premier League match at Anfield since April 2017; equalling a club record run of 31 unbeaten home games.
Fortress Anfield stands tall. 🏰 pic.twitter.com/AHeJ77VINN
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 29, 2018
“We are not happy but we try to overcome the situation. Seven points to Liverpool is starting to be a lot.
“We need to start winning games but we can’t rely on ourselves. Even if we beat Liverpool now it won’t be easy.
“We have lost two games that we shouldn’t do if we are in a race for the title. There are a lot of games left and it’s mathematically possible but we have to be almost perfect from now.”