Kyle Walker says Premier League title race is 'not over until it's over'
"It's a big gap but my mentality has always been never give up, never. We will play and we will fight until the end," said Rodri
Last Updated: 08/12/19 1:33pm
Kyle Walker insists Manchester City are not ready to surrender their title despite another damaging defeat.
The champions fell 14 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool after losing 2-1 to rivals Manchester United in Saturday's derby at the Etihad Stadium.
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In a match overshadowed by ugly scenes in the stands, including an alleged racist gesture from a City supporter towards United players and the throwing of missiles, the hosts paid the price for first-half sloppiness.
United continually cut City open in a series of incisive counter-attacks, with a penalty from Marcus Rashford and another strike from Anthony Martial condemning the hosts to a fourth defeat of the season and further shredding their title hopes.
Right-back Walker said: "We knew they had quick players in quick areas - Martial, Rashford and (Daniel) James. They are very good on the counter-attack. We knew that but we didn't handle it as well as we could have.
"It's a massive gap, we know that, but we need to keep fighting until the end. It's not over until it's over. We will keep trying, as a team."
After just 16 games, City, who have also drawn twice, have now dropped as many points as they did in the whole of last season. They would have to win all their remaining 22 games to match last season's final points tally of 98.
City also dropped points when they were held to a draw by Newcastle last weekend but they hoped to have turned the corner after a convincing 4-1 win at Burnley in midweek.
But once again, despite looking confident in attack with Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne driving them forward, their back-line was exposed too often.
The continued deployment of Fernandinho in defence, meaning his presence in midfield is missed, continues to divide opinion, despite the Brazilian's general competence at centre-half. They also lacked a cutting edge with Sergio Aguero again out injured.
Midfielder Rodri said: "They defended really well and we weren't aggressive enough with the ball. We need to be more clinical, score more goals.
"We created lots of chances but we didn't manage to put the ball in. We played the way we wanted but it's always difficult when you concede two goals.
"You need to find spaces but at the same time you concede more spaces to them for their counter-attacks. It's very difficult to attack when they put 11 players behind the ball but we shouldn't have conceded those two goals.
"It's a big gap but my mentality has always been never give up, never. We will play and we will fight until the end."
Pep: Gap irrelevant, we have to continue
When asked about the gap to Liverpool following the derby loss, City boss Pep Guardiola said: "It's not time to think about this. We think about the next game, but it's unrealistic to think about it, to catch up, it doesn't matter if we are six, seven, 14, 25 points, we have to continue. We are a fantastic team, we play so good."
Nev: Back Ole in January
Despite being impressed with the way United performed on Saturday, Sky Sports' Gary Neville says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to be backed in the next transfer window to add some experience to the dressing room.
"It will give the squad confidence, but it doesn't change what United need to do in January," said Neville. "They need to get some experience to bolster that squad. They need it desperately. Scott McTominay and Fred have done brilliantly but they can't do it every week.
"It gives Ole a bit of breathing space and the confidence he can win big games as shown in the last four days."