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Manchester City concede title race to Liverpool

English Premier League champions Manchester City have given up hope of retaining their title.

The Citizens are 14 points adrift of runaway leaders Liverpool, who also have a game in hand.

City ensured the Reds did not pull further away from them with a 2-0 home win over Sheffield United yesterday morning (Singapore time). After the match, striker Sergio Aguero admitted it would be "too hard" to overhaul Juergen Klopp's team.

"Now Liverpool is too hard. We have to focus just on winning because we need to play (in the) Champions League next season. We have to play the same way and see what happens," said the Argentine, who opened the scoring. Kevin de Bruyne scored City's other goal.

His manager Pep Guardiola had admitted even before the match: "The advantage is too big, yes. It's unrealistic to think about Liverpool. We think about (second-placed) Leicester (City)."

After the win over the eighth-placed Blades, he reiterated that stance, adding that he is already preparing for next season.

Said Guardiola: "A team which has the numbers of Liverpool, why should we think about that?

"It's just preparing, play good and better to be as close to the top of the league as we can, prepare for the knockout competitions and for the next season."

Yesterday's win was the Spaniard's 100th in the EPL, making him the fastest manager to reach that landmark, having accomplished the feat in just 134 games.

Guardiola led City to the two highest points total in EPL history over the past two seasons.

This season, the Citizens have already lost five matches, one fewer than their combined tally over the past two seasons.

Liverpool have won all but one of their 19 EPL matches this season.

Football