Manchester City need a miracle if they are to defend their Premier League title.
They are 22 points behind leaders Liverpool following a weekend in which the gap was extended by three points.
After Liverpool thrashed Southampton 4-0 on Saturday, Pep Guardiola’s City fell to a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham on Sunday.
The title is effectively out of reach now. Guardiola must turn to Europe and the domestic cups for any chance of silverware this season.
Winning the Champions League would certainly salvage the campaign but it won’t be easy.
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Man City face Real Madrid in the round of 16 and Europe’s heavy-hitters will be waiting should they progress.
Guardiola’s reputation is taking a hit with each passing game and Sky Sports’ pundit Paul Merson has gone as far as to say he’s been “found out” this season.
Merson believes Guardiola, who has spent nearly £700 million on new players during his time at the Etihad Stadium, has been arrogant and failed to address his problems at centre-back.
“Very worrying for Guardiola – the league is out, they are 22 points behind and I sit there and think: ‘He is fortunate to get away with it’,” Merson said.
“And I say that in a way that he has got 22 internationals, he has got two players for every position virtually.
“I think he thinks ‘I am that attacking that I do not have to play with a centre half’, but he has been found out this season.
“Do not get me wrong – they could play you next week and beat you 8-0, they have got that in them like they did at Villa Park, they just brushed them [Aston Villa] aside.
“But it is impossible for them to be 22 points behind, for how good Liverpool have been.
“If they played each other 10 times over the next few weeks, there is no way Liverpool would win all 10 games. You would probably side with Man City on their day. Which is strange.”
It’s the Champions League or bust for Man City this season.
They have the talent, but cracks have appeared in Guardiola’s side.