Manchester City winger Bernardo Silva has admitted that his side “gave up” chasing Liverpool for the Premier League title at one stage this season.
Having won two titles on the bounce under Pep Guardiola – including by needing to win their final 14 games last term to ward off the Reds – City have dropped below their usual standards this time round.
Three draws and six defeats have allowed a relentless Liverpool side, who have only dropped two points all campaign, to open up a 22-point lead at the top of the table.
“I think we got to a point one month ago where we gave up a bit too soon and that’s why we’re twenty-something points behind now. We shouldn’t have done that and it was not on purpose,” the winger said.
“It was in our head, everyone was disappointed to be already ten or 15 points behind and our heads went a bit down.
“It’s difficult because we’re a team used to winning and last season we won everything in England.
“It hurts a lot because when you start a new season you always want to go for the Premier League.
“It’s the main competition, it’s the most important competition for the fans. No one expected us to be this far from Liverpool in January or February.”
City were due to have the chance to reduce the gap on Sunday but their clash with West Ham was postponed due to safety concerns, following the arrival of Storm Ciara in the UK.
As such, the game will have to be re-arranged which could cause fixture chaos for City.
Their match against Arsenal on March 1 has already been postponed due to City’s involvement in the Carabao Cup final on that date.
The FA Cup could also cause problems; fifth-round matches are being held in midweek this season and a league clash with Chelsea will have to be rearranged if either side reaches the quarter-finals of the cup.
Such a potential problem is made worse by City’s Champions League commitments.; European glory is now Guardiola’s priority having gone so far behind in the league.