Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has conceded his side’s title hopes are ‘over’ following the club’s Manchester derby defeat last weekend.
Defeat to Manchester United at the Etihad saw the reigning Premier League champions beaten for a fourth time this season, Pep Guardiola’s side having now fallen 14 points adrift of unbeaten league leaders, Liverpool.
Gundogan has conceded the significance of the gap has ended his side’s hopes of retaining their crown, admitting it has been a disappointing opening to the campaign for City so far.
“Obviously it’s so far a difficult season for us,” Gundogan said. “There’s already a huge gap in the Premier League between Liverpool and us.
“We can’t deny that the title race is already over for us, so we have to compete to qualify for the Champions League again next season.
“That’s disappointing, to be honest. Also, this early in the season to have such a huge gap is something that we’re not really used to.”
The Germany international can’t put his finger on the reason for his side’s below-par showings so far, though suggested a lack of changes could be to blame for the club’s failure to push on from last season’s success.
“I don’t feel like the dynamic in the group is worse than it was before. I think it’s still similar,” he said
“Maybe that’s also a problem, that it’s too similar. Maybe there needs to be a change.
“I don’t really know to be honest, I just think that the next weeks will show us and prove to us the right way to go.
“If you don’t know the feeling of frustration, of anger, of disappointment, I ask myself sometimes: ‘What is it really worth to be successful? What is it worth to be happy?’.”