Rodri confident Manchester City can still win the Premier League title
Pep Guardiola’s side are nine points behind Liverpool.
Rodri insists Manchester City’s recent history as back-to-back Premier League winners means they do not consider the title race to be anywhere near over.
Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Liverpool saw City slip nine points behind Jurgen Klopp’s leaders and they are now closer to fifth-placed Sheffield United than the summit.
However, City found themselves in a similar situation at the end of December when they were briefly 10 behind Liverpool with a match in hand.
Within two games – including a crucial win over the Merseysiders at the Etihad Stadium – the advantage had been cut to four points and successive victories in their 14 final league fixtures edged out their title rivals by a point.
It is from that midfielder Rodri believes they take hope.
“We are far from them now, but there is still a big part of the season left. We are not going to give up,” said the Spain international.
“We are the current champions and we are not going to make it easy for anyone. Absolutely not (the Premier League is over).
“This team has shown it many times before. This team has won the Premier League two seasons in a row and that isn’t a coincidence.
“This team has earned the respect in being considered for the title race.
“Last season, the team was seven points behind and it could have been 10 in case of losing (their match in hand), and they managed to win the league in the end.
“We are in November. There is still a lot left. They (Liverpool) are very strong at the moment and they are having everything (go) right. Let’s see what happens in the future.”
City actually played well at Anfield, dominating the opening 20 minutes but finding themselves 2-0 down.
Their opponents were far more clinical than them and that is an area Rodri believes needs improvement.
“We have tried everything to win but they have been more clinical in front of goal. That’s the summary,” he added.
“I don’t think they have been much better than us but they have scored the chances they had. I think we never gave up.
“Obviously, when you lose, you are not happy. We have to improve some things, we need to be more clinical in the box.
“They were more clinical than us, I think that was the key factor. I think we were much better overall, we created more chances than them, but they arrived to our goal three times and scored three goals.”
More of an issue than the lack of goals was the frailty of City’s defence, which never looked like a cohesive unit.
It is somewhat understandable with their best defender Aymeric Laporte still out injured and Angelino starting only his second Premier League game.
The 22-year-old left-back was given a torrid time by Mohamed Salah and admits they made things easy for their opponents.
“When you give space to a team like this, one of the top sides in Europe, you are going to get punished,” said the Spaniard.
“We created so many chances, so it’s not about them. It’s about us. We have to keep working hard.
“If we play the same way we played during the rest of the season we can do great things. It was a strong game for the team, great performance, everyone worked really hard. That’s what matters to me.
“We didn’t get the result but we played in the hardest stadium in the world right now. We need to keep the same spirit and the same attitude for the next games.”