Man City suffered their sixth loss of the season in the Premier League on Sunday, to ensure Liverpool ended the weekend with a 22-point lead.
The Reds got their job done at Anfield with a 4-0 win over Southampton, with City visiting Tottenham around 24 hours after Mohamed Salah‘s brace helped seal victory.
Pep Guardiola oversaw a losing performance and his side were stung by a debut goal from Steven Bergwijn and another from Heung-min Son, with Oleksandr Zinchenko seeing red for two yellow-card offences.
City have now lost as many times after 25 games this term than they did in both of the last two league campaigns combined (six), and as many as 10th-placed Arsenal.
The numbers that truly matter, of course, are in the points column, and three dropped means City stayed 22 behind an “unstoppable” Liverpool.
That is how Guardiola described the Reds after the game, while the Spaniard also made a bizarre suggestion that the magnitude of their lead calls into question the integrity of the Premier League.
“The last two seasons, an owner from the Premier League said: ‘That cannot happen again, it’s not good for the Premier League that City win the title in that way’,” he said.
“So now, with Liverpool, you have to be concerned for the Premier League!”
It resembles a strange and desperate bid to take the sheen off Liverpool’s incredible season, particularly given the spending of both clubs is far from comparable; the Reds won’t have bought this title.
City should now be more concerned with the likes of Leicester, Chelsea and Spurs, though a win for Jose Mourinho’s side only reduced the gap between themselves in fifth and City in second to 14 points.
Fortunately for Guardiola, the majority of the top-four chasing pack stumbled over the weekend, with Sheffield United the only outfit bar Spurs to celebrate a victory as they won 1-0 at Crystal Palace.
Leicester and Chelsea played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the King Power on Saturday, while Man United were held to a 0-0 draw by Wolves and Burnley and Arsenal also played out a stalemate.
Elsewhere, Harry Wilson played only his fourth full game for Bournemouth as they beat Aston Villa 2-1 despite going down to 10 men early in the second half, and Norwich were unable to take their chances as they drew 0-0 at Newcastle.
There were 11 goals between the remaining two ties, as West Ham drew 3-3 with Brighton and Theo Walcott scored a 90th-minute winner as Everton overcame Watford 3-2.
Fabian Delph was also sent off in that game, with the weekend just gone equalling the highest tally for sendings off for the season so far, with three in total.
Man United, Chelsea, Leicester and Burnley are the only sides yet to have a man sent off, while only Leicester boast as strong a disciplinary record as Liverpool (25 cards).
Premier League Results, Gameweek 25
Crystal Palace 0-1 Sheffield United
Liverpool 4-0 Southampton
Man United 0-0 Wolves