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"Liverpool look unstoppable... we accept other teams can be better" - Pep Guardiola makes huge title race admission

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola admits it will be difficult for Manchester City to win the Premier League this season.

The reigning champions beat Chelsea 2-1 on Saturday to climb into third place, but they remain nine points behind Liverpool in the race for the title.

The Reds were not at their best against Crystal Palace but still emerged from Selhurst Park with all three points.

And Guardiola acknowledges that his team face an uphill struggle to overhaul Jurgen Klopp's charges.

“Liverpool look unstoppable,” he said. “I know it’s far away with these numbers. My teams always try but we accept other teams can be better.

"So [if] we are going to lose the Premier League, we are going to try the next season. It is not the first time Manchester City in 100 years of history lose the league. If we do not do it, I am not going to retire but I am going to be disappointed."

City fell behind to an N'Golo Kante goal midway through the first half on Saturday, but strikes from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez turned the game around at the Etihad Stadium.

But it was Fernandinho, a midfielder by trade who was again deployed at centre-back against Chelsea due to City's defensive injuries, who earned special praise from his manager.

"He can play there,” said Guardiola. “He was incredible at Anfield [a 3-1 defeat by Liverpool before the international break]. He was incredible today. I like Fernandinho in that position, with the problems that we have."

City will qualify for the knockout rounds of the Champions League if they do not lose in a home clash with Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.

The Premier League champions then return to domestic action next weekend, when they face Newcastle at St James' Park in Saturday's early kick-off.

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