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Kevin de Bruyne laughs off Liverpool’s five-point lead as Man City star fires warning | Football | Sport

The defending champions were stunned into a 3-2 defeat at Carrow Road hours after the Merseysiders had rolled out their 14th consecutive Premier League win to open up their lead at the top of the table.

But as recently as January 3, when Liverpool travelled to the Etihad for what would become their only defeat of the season, Jurgen Klopp’s side had an even bigger advantage.

Manchester City still managed to catch them before the finishing line.

“Last season we were seven points behind – it happens,” De Bruyne shrugged. “Of course we want to win every game but it is difficult.

“You have to respect the other team and when they do well. They do well and that is it.

“It will be tough, the next seven months, like last year. It never stops. It is our job and sometimes it is hard but you have to take it on the chin.

“We lost four games out of 38 last season and that is a good record. We can still win this season with the same points at the end of this season.”

It is all a far cry from when City romped to the title in 2017-18 with 100 points and even more goals.

“It happened once but you don’t need to win by 15 points as it is the Premier League,” De Bruyne said. “It is so tough and you just want to finish first – it does not matter how you do it.”

Despite City’s shock loss at Norwich, Pepe Guardiola is standing resolutely beside the players he says enabled him to throw off the “Fraud-iola” tag.

“Maybe you forget that they are human beings,” the City manager said afterwards.

“But I am sorry if you think that I have doubts in my team because they lose a game… I can’t.

“They gave me all the prestige that I have in England after the first season when it was ‘Fraud-iola’. When I was told this kind of game here in England, it’s not possible to play because there are too many tackles.

“These players gave me all the prestige I have, and all around the world everybody said what a good manager I am.

“But that was for them, not for me.

“So in that moment when they don’t care that they lose the game, it will be a problem. But I know how they suffer when they don’t win.

“In the competitions you can lose. Maybe you are wrong when you talk about us being unbeatable or we are a perfect team. Or what happened in the past.”

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