Guardiola: Man City focusing on UCL, preparing for next season

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Pep Guardiola has unofficially conceded the Premier League title to Liverpool, saying it is now “unrealistic to think” that Manchester City could the runaway leaders and champions-elect.

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Liverpool lead the two-time defending champions by an eye-popping 14 points at the halfway point of the season, and have a game in hand which could stretch their advantage to 17. Guardiola admits that his side will now turn its full focus to this season’s UEFA Champions League and, already, preparing for a title challenge of their own next season — quotes from Goal:

“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.

“Every game helps us to improve for next season. Hopefully we can do better. The motivation is to improve because when we improve we win games and that is the way to live better. That is the best motivation for all of us. Even in the past.”

“The fans can say or do whatever they want but they cannot deny that the team in the last three years was incredible in every single competition.”

City will kick off 2020 when Everton visits the Etihad Stadium on New Year’s Day (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com). Their quest for European glory will resume when they face Spanish giants Real Madrid in the round of 16 in February.