Pep Guardiola thinks it is "crazy" for Manchester City to think about catching Liverpool – although his declaration that the Premier League title race was over following his side's 4-1 victory at Burnley was laced with sarcasm.
City headed to Turf Moor on a run of one win in five matches across all competitions, but last season's domestic treble winner looked something like its old self as a fine Gabriel Jesus double set up a commanding triumph.
Rodri's blistering strike from outside the area was the pick of the bunch and substitute Riyad Mahrez also got in on the act before Robbie Brady netted a late consolation for the host. The result brought City back to within eight points of Premier League leader Liverpool before Jurgen Klopp's men entertain Everton in Wednesday's Merseyside derby.
Asked if City's performance showed it was not giving up on a title it has won in each of the past two seasons, Guardiola replied: "The title is over. What I read, nobody gives us a chance. It's done."
In a less acidic assessment at his post-match news conference, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss added: "For the distance we have against Liverpool, it would be a little bit crazy to think about the title, honestly.
"We have to think about the derby, go game by game because it is not just the Premier League. There are other competitions, like FA Cup and Carabao and Champions League. The important thing is to take this rhythm in our games for the next fixtures."
City was close to its sublime best at times, passing its opponent into submission either side of half-time. Guardiola is keen to see it double down on that familiar style, one he feels has deserted it over recent weeks, with Manchester United up next in Saturday's derby at the Etihad Stadium.
"I'm glad for the fact we passed the ball more than usual over the last games," he said. In the last games there is no regret, but the only [negative] feeling I have is the lack of more passes."
"We are built to have the ball and pass and pass and pass. Sometimes we start left and want to finish left and you have to move the ball more. That is the only way against a well-organised defence like Burnley. You have to find the spaces inside and outside. We did that really well."
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