Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes his side will probably have to win all their remaining matches if they are to successfully defend their Premier League title.
A late 1-0 victory over Everton got them back to winning ways after defeat to Tottenham and restored the six-point gap to second-placed in-form Liverpool, who have a match in hand.
Jurgen Klopp’s team, who have to travel to the Etihad Stadium in April, have reduced a 12-point deficit on City since February 12th courtesy of a six-match winning run.
“It’s not the first time we’ve been in this situation and we have learned from that in the past,” said Guardiola.
“If you want to be champion in the Premier League, against this rival – Liverpool, they are not going to drop points – you have to do your job in nearly all the games.
“We felt it in the past and we have to do it this year. So it’s not an exception.
“Eleven games left and we know exactly what we need to do; we need to win all of them or nearly all of them to be champion.
“Every game will be an incredibly tough battle and you have to face every game knowing if we drop points it will be difficult to be champion.”
Guardiola’s side are well-versed in being chased by Liverpool, having edged them out by one point in a record-breaking title pursuit in 2019.
The City boss is confident it is not a situation which will faze them.
“After three Premier League [titles] in the last four years we could be more naive or more arrogant in our behaviours and it’s completely the opposite,” he added.
“So still we have the humility to go here and everywhere to try to do our game, to respect the opponents a lot and try to win the games.
“This is the best prize and the best achievement, as a manager and a staff, to inoculate in the hearts and the minds of the players that it doesn’t matter what happens, you have to try to do it again and again and again.”