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Pep Guardiola: Manchester City can’t compete with the elite

Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City have to accept that they may not be able to compete with the top teams in Europe at the moment.

City’s 2-1 shock loss to Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday was their fourth defeat of the campaign and left the defending champions third, 14 points behind leaders Liverpool.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Guardiola said the quality of opposition in Premier League and Champions League are too strong to compete.

“That is the level we face, against Liverpool, United, Barcelona, Madrid, Juventus. They are the teams we have to face and the reality is maybe we are not able now to compete with them.

“We have to improve and accept it and move forward. Maybe we need to live that as a club to improve, to accept the reality now and improve.”

City’s defensive line has been hit by injury, with defensive midfielder Fernando had to play as central defence in recent games.

“The reality is we are 14 points behind for the mistakes we have done, for the quality of our opponents and especially, as well, the things we cannot control.

“We are at the beginning of December and we have other competitions to play in and other games to fight and improve on.”

City visit Dynamo Zagreb in the Champions League, before facing Arsenal, Oxford United and Leicester in the space of 10 days.