Pep Guardiola has admitted Man City may not be able to compete with the best teams in Europe – including Manchester United among those sides.
Guardiola watched as City fell to a 2-1 defeat to United in Saturday’s Manchester derby.
It was a fourth defeat in the Premier League already this season – the same number City suffered over the entirety of the previous campaign when they retained their title.
Now 14 points behind league leaders Liverpool, Guardiola feels the club need to accept they are not as dominant as they once were.
“We have to improve and accept it and move forward,” said Guardiola. “[Manchester] United have the quality to defend and the quality to attack on the counter-attack and you have to accept that.
“That is the level we face against – Liverpool, Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus.
“They are the teams we have to face and the reality is maybe we are not able now to compete with them.
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“Maybe we need to live that as a club to improve, to accept the reality now and improve.”
Despite his admission, Guardiola wants City to keep fighting for silverware, starting with Wednesday’s Champions League trip to face Dinamo Zagreb – which will be broadcast LIVE on talkSPORT 2.
He added: “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. That is the reality but we have to continue.
“We are at the beginning of December and we have other competitions to play in and other games to fight and improve on. Maybe this is going to help us for the future so we need to live this as a club to be better.”