City succumbed to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United on Sunday but are still 11 points clear at the top.
And City’s manager stressed how relentless they have been to get into that position.
Pep Guardiola wants his side to focus on winning the title after they lost to Manchester United
The Red Devils won 2-0 at the Etihad to close the gap on the league leaders to 11 points
‘We will be the news because we lost,’ Guardiola said. ‘But the news is 21 victories in a row. What we have to do is recover.
‘Tomorrow I will not speak with the team, the day after I will not speak with the team, and the day of the Southampton game (Wednesday) I will tell the team how incredible they are.
‘It’s in our hands. Our opponents have to win all their games and we have to lose four or five. Now everything will count.’
City had found ways to keep beating opponents despite not showing their best form until United’s strong defensive effort halted their progress yesterday at the Etihad Stadium.
‘Against West Ham we played much, much worse than today,’ Guardiola added. ‘
Man City’s 21 game winning streak came to an end against their bitter rivals on Sunday
Against West Ham we didn’t deserve to win and maybe today we didn’t deserve to lose. We were not good in front of goal. Our strikers were not brilliant today, but it happens.’
Solskjaer conceded United would not catch City, who appear set to win a third title in four years, but believes yesterday’s display proved they can launch a sustained challenge in the future.
‘We’ve improved massively, we’re more robust and resilient, and there is more personality in the team — that is what I like,’ Solskjaer said.
‘We need to improve on so many things to get our consistency better. We need to be a better Man United and I feel we’re a better United than we were 16 months ago.’
Meanwhile, United will make checks today on an ankle injured sustained by forward Marcus Rashford, who limped off.