City will not give up fight despite nine-point gap, insists Guardiola

Liverpool is storming the Premier League and currently enjoys a nine-point lead over Manchester City, but Pep Guardiola insists his side will not give up.

Manchester City will not give up, states Pep Guardiola   -  Getty Images

Pep Guardiola has no doubt his Manchester City side will fight to the bitter end even if he concedes the Premier League title race may already be over.

City came from behind to claim a vital 2-1 win over Chelsea on Saturday, after unbeaten table-topper Liverpool had temporarily moved 12 points clear of the defending champion, thanks to a victory at Crystal Palace.

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However, with the gap between Liverpool and the chasing pack – including second-placed Leicester City and fourth-placed Chelsea – already so large, Guardiola acknowledged the Reds may already have one hand on the trophy.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach, though, insists he will never doubt his team's desire to fight for glory.

"The only pressure we can have is that we're going to lose the Premier League. Okay. That is the pressure. We're going to lose the Premier League," he said.

"It's not the first time Manchester City lose the Premier League. So, we're going to lose the Premier League, we're going to try the next season.

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"We didn't give up last season and that's why we won again. Maybe we're going to lose, but this team never gives up. This team tries.

"It's far away, with these numbers Liverpool are unstoppable. But if you believe I am going to doubt my players because they didn't try, you are wrong.

"We would not have been able to do what we have done, 100 points, four titles, it never happened before and even this season we are there and you see the games. One, judge the result, but I try to judge performance, and I see every morning, every day my team and I don't have doubts we're going to try."

Guardiola's side has already lost three league matches this season, having only been beaten four times en route to the title last term.

But Guardiola believes it is ridiculous to expect City to be able to keep on improving on the levels it has shown in previous seasons.

"It looks like how we have won two Premier Leagues, we'd have to win seven Premier Leagues in a row and have to make 200 points every season," he said.

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"It doesn't work in that way at that high level. In tennis, players lose games. In golf, it's not always Tommy Fleetwood who wins the tournaments, I would like that, but it's not.

"How is our spirit after 1-0 down, the way we played in Anfield in every game, that is how I like to see my team. I would like to see us there, nine points, we are in November so wow, many games we have to play."

Guardiola also feels putting too much weight behind a defeat is a worrying trend for society at large.

"We did it for the last 24 months or more. If you win, you have a good spirit, good character, good everything. If you lose then it is done. So the line is so tight," he added.

"Winners and losers, that's all. I think for sport, it is a message to society, it's not good for our kids to show that just the winner is perfect.

"The importance is the commitment. All sports we want to win. But losing is not a disaster. That's why I said to the players, relax, do our job, we will see what happens."