Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted that Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are both better than his team at the moment.
The Spaniard watched his Cityzens lose two games on the bounce after a strong start to their Premier League season. And, with the side dropping to third place in the standings following their Boxing Day loss to Leicester City, he's now in a much humbler mood.
City was expected to respond to their loss against Crystal Palace on Sunday when the faced the Foxes the day after Christmas. But despite going ahead through Bernardo Silva's opener, they suffered a 2-1 defeat at the King Power Stadium, with Marc Albrighton providing the equalizer and Ricardo Pereira striking in the 81st minute to hand his team the victory.
"They [Tottenham and Liverpool] deserve it, they win games, we don't win games, so the gap increases. Last season we were so consistent in making a lot of points, and this season especially Liverpool and Tottenham they are so good," the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss told Sky Sports following the loss.
"So at the end today we finish the first round and we have of course these last two defeats, but we have done enough points to be champion! A lot of points we have done!
"But the problem is the other ones have made a lot, and that is the reality, they are better than us in that moment, you have to accept it, and it is important to accept where we are, and they are improving."
"The reality is there are two or three teams better than us, so they are better," he stressed to reporters in a subsequent press conference. "We're not talking about whether we can take Liverpool or get to Liverpool or whatever, the issue is about winning another game, and thinking in ourselves about how we can improve."
What This Means
Jurgen Klopp's men have opened up a seven-point advantage over the defending champions and lead all chasers in the Premier League at the moment.
The rampant Reds appear to be the favorites to lift the title at the end of the season and remain unbeaten in the division. Whether or not they can keep things up until May is something only time can tell.
For now, though, the trophy is theirs to lose.