Manager Pep Guardiola has all but conceded the title is now beyond Manchester City after they fell 10 points behind leaders Chelsea.
Antonio Conte and the Blues were 3-0 winners at reigning champions Leicester City on Saturday evening while Guardiola and City suffered a 4-0 thumping at Everton less than 24 hours later.
It was City’s fifth league defeat in 21 games under Guardiola’s watch and leaves the Citizens with a yawning gap between them and the pace-setting Blues.
Guardiola says catching Spurs in second remains a realistic challenge but that Chelsea may be another matter.
Asked if the gap to the top was now too great, Guardiola said: “By the first one? Yes. 10 points is a lot of points.
The second one is three points. We have to see.” When pushed in his post-match press conference to conclude that his challenge at City is the toughest of his career to date, the Spaniard instead reflected on his remarkable track record as a manager.
“I would say the exceptional situation was in the past. When you have eight years as a coach and you win seven titles and you’re always winning – that is the exceptional situation,” he added.
The City boss once more reiterated that he is content in his role but he did admit that the amount of goals his team are conceding is a source of major concern.
“I am happy in Manchester but, of course, it is the first time in my life I have conceded a lot of goals. It never happened before and I need to know the reason why,” said Guardiola.
City are 15.00 to win the title this season while league leaders Chelsea are 1.62.