Manchester City boss, Pep Guardiola said his side might not be able to compete with top teams in Europe and they have to “accept that reality”.
City lost 1-2 to Manchester United on Saturday’s Derby at Etihad Stadium and are third in premier league.
City won the domestic treble and retained the league title last season but have lost four games so far this season.
“United have the quality to defend and the quality to attack on the counter-attack and you have to accept that,” he added.
“That is the level we face against Liverpool, Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus. They are the teams we have to face and the reality is maybe we are not able now to compete with them.
“Maybe we need to live that as a club to improve, to accept the reality now and improve.”
“The reality is we are 14 points behind for the mistakes we have done, for the quality of our opponents and especially, as well, the things we cannot control. That is the reality but we have to continue,” Guardiola continued.
“We are at the beginning of December and we have other competitions to play in and other games to fight and improve on.
“We are not thinking of winning the Champions League, I am not thinking about how many points we need or how many points they have to drop. We are trying to win games, to win the next one.”
City won the first of their back-to-back league titles in 2017-18 with a record-breaking 100 points but were beaten in the Champions League quarter-finals by Liverpool.
Guardiola’s side were also knocked out by Tottenham in the same stage in 2018-2019 season which Liverpool won after defeating the Spurs in the final.
However, City have already qualified for the last 16 this season despite their struggles and will play final group game against Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday.
Again, City will play Oxford United of League One in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals later this month and are aiming to win that competition for a third successive season.