City defender Walker is adamant his side aren’t out of contention yet, but he acknowledged it will take a big effort to catch Liverpool.
“We knew they had quick players in quick areas – Martial, Rashford and (Daniel) James. They are very good on the counter-attack. We knew that but we didn’t handle it as well as we could have,” Walker said.
“It’s a massive gap, we know that, but we need to keep fighting until the end. It’s not over until it’s over. We will keep trying, as a team.”
After just 16 games, City, who have also drawn twice, have now dropped as many points as they did in the whole of last season.
They would have to win all their remaining 22 games to match last season’s final points tally of 98.
City midfielder Rodri, in his first season at the club, conceded United had come up with a good game-plan but blamed the loss on poor defending and bad finishing.
“We created lots of chances but we didn’t manage to put the ball in. We played the way we wanted but it’s always difficult when you concede two goals,” he said.
“You need to find spaces but at the same time, you concede more spaces to them for their counter-attacks.
“It’s very difficult to attack when they put 11 players behind the ball but we shouldn’t have conceded those two goals.”
Asked about City’s fading title hopes, Rodri added: “It’s a big gap but my mentality has always been never give up, never. We will play and we will fight until the end.”
Manchester United delivered a potentially fatal blow to Manchester City’s Premier League title hopes on Saturday after leaders Liverpool secured the Christmas number one spot with victory against Bournemouth.
City came into the match at the Etihad knowing they had to win after Jurgen Klopp’s men coasted to a 3-0 victory on England’s south coast but succumbed to United’s lightning-quick attacks, losing 2-1.
Earlier, Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham blitzed Burnley 5-0, with Son Heung-min scoring a sensational individual goal, to close to within six points of fourth-placed Chelsea, who went down 3-1 to Everton at Goodison Park.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United side started the evening match at the Etihad buoyed by their victory against Spurs in midweek and were immediately on the front foot, sprinting forward at every opportunity.
Marcus Rashford opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute and Anthony Martial doubled the visitors’ lead six minutes later.
City came back strongly, dominating possession, but could not force a breakthrough and the visitors continued to look dangerous on the break.
Eventually City’s pressure paid off, with Nicolas Otamendi’s late header sparking a frantic wave of City attacks but they failed to find an equaliser and are now 14 points behind Liverpool. United are up to fifth.
Klopp’s team took advantage of playing before their closest rivals to widen the gulf at the top of the table to 11 points, with Leicester not in action until Sunday, meaning Liverpool cannot be caught by December 25.
Klopp, mindful of a fixture pile-up for his side, made seven changes from the 5-2 midweek victory against Everton, with Sadio Mane dropping to the bench and Alisson Becker back in goal following suspension.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opened the scoring for the European champions in the 35th minute and Liverpool made it 2-0 just before the break when Naby Keita played a fine one-two with Mohamed Salah and finished from close range, with Keita turning provider for Salah in the 54th minute.
It was Liverpool’s first clean sheet in any match since late September.
“Yes, it was (perfect), 100 percent,” said the manager.
“We scored wonderful goals, we had more chances and did really well and we were really uncomfortable to play against.
“From 3-0 on we controlled the game absolutely. The players didn’t like it too much, they wanted to be really loud in these moments but I didn’t want to see any unnecessary risk. It was maybe not the most exciting but necessary.”
Son stunner for Spurs
Spurs flew out of the blocks at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Harry Kane scored twice and there were also goals for Lucas Moura and Moussa Sissoko but it was Son Heung-min’s goal that caught the eye.
With Spurs already 2-0 up, Son stole the show just after the half hour, running from deep inside his own half past a host of Burnley defenders and capped the astonishing burst with an ice-cool finish.
Spurs are still six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea but will fancy their chances of closing the gap on their London rivals, who are stumbling after a six-game winning run earlier in the season.
“A perfect day,” Mourinho told the BBC. “No injuries, a clean sheet, goals, perfect football, kids coming on for first Premier League football.”
Everton made it a miserable day for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea thanks to an early strike from Brazil forward Richarlison and two goals from England under-21 international Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Former Everton player Duncan Ferguson, in charge for the first time of the Toffees after the sacking of Marco Silva, refused to talk up his chances of getting the coaching job full-time, telling BT Sport: “I’m sure they’re out there looking for other candidates, and rightly so. We want the best guys in the world managing our football club.”
Watford, who appointed former Leicester boss Nigel Pearson as their new manager on Friday, were unable to force their second win of the season, drawing 0-0 with Crystal Palace.
Pep Guardiola says he is satisfied with the state of mind of his Manchester City players even though they twice lost the lead to draw 2-2 with Newcastle and slip further behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.
Guardiola, whose defending champions are 11 points adrift of Jurgen Klopp’s team with more than a third of the season gone, is adamant the City players have not been affected by a poor run of just one victory in five games in all competitions.
“You have to see how the players run and how they fight and how they try to do it, the body language — we never give up, so the team is always there, that’s my feeling,” he said.
“The game is what it is. In my opinion, it was good. We played well with the ball, we were solid, we conceded few counter-attacks, but football is how many goals you score and how you don’t concede.
“You accept that. Sometimes it happens.”
City have the Manchester derby on Saturday but Guardiola is focused on Tuesday’s away trip to Burnley beforehand.
“I’m not thinking about how many games we have to win,” he said. “It’s just try to win the next one.
“Last season when we were here, we were not talking about the Premier League, how many games you have to win.
“It’s not about that. It’s just now recover, prepare and try to win against Burnley, that is what you have to do, and after that, the derby and make these steps.”
Manchester City’s Premier League title hopes faltered once more as the champions twice blew a lead to draw 2-2 at Newcastle on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola’s men were frustrated for long spells after Jetro Willems quickly cancelled out Raheem Sterling’s first-half opener, but seemed to have found the moment of magic they needed thanks to Kevin De Bruyne’s sensational strike eight minutes from time.
However, City’s defensive flaws were soon exposed once more as Jonjo Shelvey swept home a well-worked free-kick six minutes later.
City have now dropped points in five of their 14 league games this season and could end the day 11 points behind leaders Liverpool.
Guardiola was without Sergio Aguero who has been ruled out for a couple of weeks by a thigh muscle injury and City missed his predatory instincts as they failed to make nearly 80 percent possession count.
Sterling has usurped Aguero so far this season as City’s major source of goals and was clinical 22 minutes in after a lovely backheel from David Silva set the England international up for his 15th goal of the season.
However, the lead lasted just three minutes as the normally goal-shy Magpies produced their own moment of quality when Miguel Almiron teed up Willems to slot past Ederson into the far corner.
When City lost on their last visit to St James’ Park back in January the title seemed lost, only for a 14-game winning streak to end the campaign to pip Liverpool to the post.
The Reds’ relentless form at the top of the table meant City started the day nine points behind and with precious little margin for error even before November is out.
But the sharpness and accuracy of passing that has characterised City’s two title triumphs under Guardiola was lacking as the visitors’ struggled to unlock the mass ranks of the Newcastle defence.
City finally began to work Martin Dubravka in the Newcastle goal in the final quarter as De Bruyne’s shot from a narrow-angle was turned away before Gabriel Jesus had a huge chance to make his mark in Aguero’s absence.
The Brazilian was played clean through on goal by Silva but shot straight at Dubravka before De Bruyne’s follow-up effort was blocked.
Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden were called upon from the bench to make an impact in the final 20 minutes and with his first touch, Bernardo dragged wide another glorious chance on his normally trusty left foot.
De Bruyne was the one constant threat for City and looked to have won the game when he chested down a looping clearance before smashing the ball in off the underside of the bar.
Newcastle had barely mustered a single attack in the second half, but after Fernandinho conceded a needless foul and was lucky to avoid seeing a second yellow card, Christian Atsu picked out Shelvey unmarked on the edge of the box to find the bottom corner.
City still had one more chance to take all three points in stoppage time when De Bruyne picked out Sterling, but his shot lacked the power to beat Dubravka and with that opportunity may have gone their chances of a third title in a row.
Manchester City booked their place in the Champions League last 16 for a seventh successive season despite a lacklustre 1-1 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.
Pep Guardiola’s side were well below their best at the Etihad Stadium, but Ilkay Gundogan’s second-half strike put them on course to wrap up first place in Group C with one game to spare.
Although Manor Solomon equalised for Shakhtar, Atalanta’s win over Dinamo Zagreb ensured City can’t be knocked off top spot.
With the group clinched, Guardiola has the bonus of being able to rest players for the trip to Zagreb on December 11.
That is especially important as the Zagreb fixture comes between vital Premier League matches against Manchester United and Arsenal.
While City won’t give up their Premier League title without a fight, Liverpool are in such a strong position that Europe could provide Guardiola’s best hope of a major prize this term.
Guardiola won the Champions League twice as Barcelona boss but the last of those triumphs came in 2011. He hasn’t gone past the quarter-finals with City.
Returning to the knockout stages was a first step toward ending that frustrating streak, but Guardiola will know injury-hit City have plenty of room for improvement.
City made a sloppy start and were almost caught out when a long punt into their half prompted Ederson to rush off his line.
When the City keeper completely missed his attempt to clear, Shakhtar’s Mateus Tete charged into the penalty area, only for Fernandinho to block the shot with a superbly timed last-ditch slide.
Moments later, Ederson made a better dash off his line to clear after another Shakhtar raid threatened to open City up.
City’s limp opening was at least partially due to the absence of the club’s record goalscorer Sergio Aguero, sidelined for several weeks after injuring a thigh in Saturday’s win over Chelsea.
Gabriel Jesus started in place of Aguero, but the Brazilian, who has scored five goals in eight starts this season, was largely anonymous.
Rodri had City’s first sight of goal, but the midfielder’s shot was too close to Shakhtar keeper Andriy Pyatov.
Ponderous for much of the half, City gradually found some rhythm and Nicolas Otamendi’s header from Angelino’s cross forced an agile save from Pyatov, while Gundogan’s deflected effort looped wide.
City have opened talks with Raheem Sterling about a new long-term contract that would reportedly make the 24-year-old one of the highest-paid players in the Premier League.
Sterling’s place among the world’s elite is without question, but this wasn’t the England winger’s best night.
He did perk up to create a chance that Jesus was unable to take early in the second half.
City finally conjured a move befitting their ability, cutting through the Shakhtar defence to take the lead in the 56th minute.
Kevin De Bruyne was the catalyst with a swift surge and pass into Jesus in the Shakhtar area.
Jesus did well to control and poke the ball across to Gundogan. The German midfielder took a touch before slotting into the bottom corner from 10 yards.
Even that wasn’t enough to paper over the cracks for sluggish City and Shakhtar equalised in the 69th minute.
Tete slipped his pass to the overlapping Dodo and his cut-back from the touchline drew a lethargic response from the City defence, allowing substitute Solomon to fire home from close-range only four minutes after coming on.
David Silva almost restored City’s lead seconds later, but the substitute’s shot was cleared off the line by Serhiy Kryvtsov.
Manchester City kept Premier League leaders Liverpool in their sights on Saturday after battling back to beat Chelsea as Jose Mourinho ended Tottenham’s away-day woes in his first game in charge.
Leicester saw off Brighton 2-0 to stay in second place, eight points behind Jurgen Klopp’s men, while struggling Arsenal needed a stoppage-time goal to draw 2-2 with lowly Southampton.
Liverpool’s hard-fought 2-1 win at Crystal Palace meant defending champions City went into their evening match against high-flying Chelsea 12 points behind the pacesetters.
N’Golo Kante gave the visitors a deserved lead midway through the first half at the Etihad but City hit back with a deflected shot from Kevin De Bruyne and a trademark Riyad Mahrez strike to win 2-1.
Pep Guardiola’s men were never entirely comfortable with a one-goal lead but their margin of victory could have been greater as Raheem Sterling found the bottom corner deep into stoppage time, only for VAR to rule the goal out for offside.
City’s possession figure of 46.74 percent is the lowest recorded by a side managed by Pep Guardiola in any of his 381 top-flight matches in charge.
“It was a top game against a top side,” Guardiola told Sky Sports. “Chelsea have been big quality for the past 20 years. When they went ahead in the best moments they had we scored through Kevin De Bruyne. Then we missed a lot of chances.”
Guardiola sounded the alarm over all-time top-scorer Sergio Aguero, who limped off in the second half, saying he feared his injury could be “bad”.
Liverpool Late Show
Earlier, Liverpool once again demonstrated their knack for scoring last-gasp winners, with Roberto Firmino finishing from close range following a goalmouth scramble.
Liverpool had looked set to drop points for just the second time this season after Wilfried Zaha cancelled out Sadio Mane’s opener in the 82nd minute.
The European champions, chasing their first league title for 30 years, have now won 12 of their 13 Premier League matches this season and are unbeaten in 30 league games.
“We are not out there to show we invented football. We have a job to do to get results. We did that again,” said Klopp.
“I have no problem that we were not brilliant today. You just have to make sure you are ready to fight for the result and we were that from the first minute.”
Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester kept up their dogged pursuit of the leaders, with second-half goals from Ayoze Perez and Jamie Vardy giving them a fifth successive league win.
In the early kick-off at the London Stadium, Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane were on the scoresheet for Tottenham as Mourinho won his first game in charge 3-2, days after replacing the sacked Mauricio Pochettino.
Spurs’ first away league victory since January will help to endear Mourinho to sceptical supporters, who were sad to see Pochettino dismissed less than six months after leading the club to a first-ever Champions League final.
“It was very, very important. Eleven months without music in the away dressing room, without a smile, without happiness and they did it,” said the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss.
“That’s where I belong (on the touchline), that is my natural habitat. I just love it. When things go in your direction, winning is the best feeling.”
Arsenal manager Unai Emery is under increasing pressure after another limp display that leaves them winless in five Premier League matches.
Southampton took an early lead at the Emirates through Danny Ings only for Alexandre Lacazette to level.
James Ward-Prowse restored Southampton’s lead in the second half but Lacazette saved Emery’s blushes with a goal deep into stoppage time.
In-form Wolves won 2-1 at 10-man Bournemouth courtesy of a Joao Moutinho free-kick and Raul Jimenez’s goal to climb to fifth in the table.
Norwich lifted themselves off the bottom with a 2-0 victory away to Everton while Burnley won 3-0 at Watford, who are now bottom.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United face Sheffield United on Sunday with a chance to move into fifth place.
Frank Lampard believes he will learn a lot about his young Chelsea side from how they react to their defeat at Manchester City.
Chelsea’s six-game winning run came to an end as they were beaten 2-1 by the Premier League champions at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
It is a measure of the London club’s progress under new boss Lampard, who has had to rely on youth due to a transfer embargo, that losing to a side that won the domestic treble last season is considered a disappointment.
“Experiences like this are great for them,” said Lampard. “They have to take them on the chin in terms of the defeat but also realise these are the kinds of levels we want to get to.
“The feeling in the dressing room — it looked like they are very disappointed. They expect a lot of themselves, so I think we will take an amount of confidence.
“Where we want to get to means we might come here and win (in future) and it might mean we can win titles, and win going forward, so I like seeing them disappointed.
“I think that that just shows the next question is the reaction we have.”
Chelsea had gone into the game above City in the table and they took an early lead through N’Golo Kante before goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez won it for the hosts.
Lampard admits his side are probably exceeding expectations this term but has warned against complacency.
The former Chelsea and England midfielder said: “It is hard to explain my expectation at the start of the season.
“Until you have worked daily with the players, until you bring players who were playing in the Championship last season and younger players here, you don’t know exactly how it is going to drop and how it ends up.
“So, (I’m) really happy with a lot of our stuff this season, so maybe that means we are slightly ahead of the curve.
“But in football the curve will go downhill very fast if you don’t keep on yourself and take a lot of the lessons from Saturday and take them on moving forward.”
Manchester City came from behind to leapfrog Chelsea into third in the Premier League with a 2-1 victory at the Etihad to keep the English champions’ title challenge alive.
Liverpool’s late win at Crystal Palace earlier in the day meant City started 12 points behind the leaders and looked in danger of failing to cut that gap when N’Golo Kante gave Chelsea a deserved lead midway through the first half.
However, Kevin de Bruyne’s deflected strike breathed new life into Pep Guardiola’s men and a trademark left-footed finish from Riyad Mahrez saw City edge a thrilling encounter.
Defeat ends a run of six straight Premier League wins for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, but there was still plenty of encouragement for the Blues on a ground where they were thrashed 6-0 last season.
De Bruyne flashed a shot inches wide in a bright opening by the hosts as they sought to make amends for a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool in their last outing before the international break.
However, it was Chelsea who began to take control of the game in the first quarter.
Willian drilled wide at the end of a flowing counter-attack before Fikayo Tomori’s effort after a corner ricocheted around the City box also flew just off target.
There was no surprise when the visitors eventually took the lead 21 minutes in when Kante made the sort of run from midfield that Lampard made his trademark during his playing career before slotting the ball under Ederson from Mateo Kovacic’s wonderful pass.
City bemoaned their luck in defeat at Anfield a fortnight ago but got the slice of fortune they needed to gain a foothold back in the game eight minutes later when De Bruyne’s tame shot deflected off Kurt Zouma to leave Kepa Arrizabalaga wrong-footed.
Mahrez then turned the game on its head with a brilliant jinking run and finish into the far corner as City clicked into gear.
The champions should have been further ahead by the break as Kepa’s poor clearance gifted possession to Sergio Aguero, but the Argentine hit the bar with just the keeper to beat.
In a game that flowed from end-to-end, City could never feel comfortable with a single goal lead and Kante was close to his second when a goalbound shot was deflected behind by Fernandinho.
At the other end, a well-worked corner saw Mahrez pick out Joao Cancelo, but the Portuguese full-back did not get a clean strike away before Kepa prevented Mahrez sealing all three points.
Willian sent a dipping volley just over and Mason Mount’s free-kick was inches away from snatching a point for Chelsea late on.
But City’s margin of victory could have been even greater as Raheem Sterling found the bottom corner deep into stoppage time, only for VAR to rule the goal out for offside.
Manchester City have lost their appeal against the decision of UEFA to refer the English champions to its adjudicatory chamber over alleged Financial Fair Play violations, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Friday.
City reacted angrily when they were referred to the adjudicatory chamber of UEFA’s club financial control body by its investigatory chamber in May.
The club said it would appeal to CAS, but the sports court dismissed their initial appeal, saying on Friday that City had not “exhausted the legal remedies available to it prior to the appeal”.
It means City have failed in their attempt to stop UEFA from investigating the allegations they supplied false financial information, with CAS saying their appeal was “inadmissible”.