Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini will not give up on retaining the Barclays Premier League title, despite defeat at Liverpool handing further advantage to Chelsea.
The 2-1 loss at Anfield, where two brilliant individual goals from Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho either side of Edin Dzeko’s equaliser won the game, leaves City five points off the top, having played a match more than the Blues.
Pellegrini admits City have to improve performances if they are to get their title defence back on track.
“I think we never give up about the title. We must try to improve our play first and after that try to win our next game,” he said.
“You never know in football what will happen. It is more difficult when you have less games and you continue with the same points, but I don’t think the team can think about that.
“The team must think about how we can win the next game. We are worried about our team, not the other teams that are behind us.
“We will see in the reaction in the next game. The only way to see is the way we play again on Wednesday (at home to Leicester).
“I hope that the team will recover and we can win on Wednesday. Every point we drop is more difficult.”
One of those teams behind them are Liverpool, who are now just seven points adrift of City and, while second place may be beyond them, the victory moved them up to fifth and just two points off the Champions League places.
“It is a big win. We still have a lot of games to go yet, but it is a significant win for us because it keeps us on the chase,” said Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.
“It was brilliant result and an equally brilliant performance.
“We thoroughly deserved the victory. The players were relentless in their work and intensity and we had great quality in our football.”