Is Premier League title Liverpool’s already? Guardiola hints as much

But is the title race this season over already — and this time in Liverpool’s favor — while things are much closer in the three other big European leagues of Spain, Italy and Germany?

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola suggested as much after his team relinquished a two-goal lead and fell 3-2 at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday evening in the UK.

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The twice defending champion, City trails Liverpool by a staggering 14 points with one more game played.

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And Guardiola’s side actually sits third behind surprise package Leicester City.

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“The advantage is too big, yes,” Guardiola told BBC Radio, when asked, if the title race is over.

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“It’s unrealistic to think about Liverpool. We think about Leicester,” Guardiola said. “We have the chance to recover second place. I know the quality of my team, but that’s the situation.”

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Midfielder Bernardo Silva was slightly more optimistic but conceded winning a third straight title is now “very difficult.”

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“It is a really bad situation for us. A frustrating first half of the season,” he told Amazon Prime. “Nobody expected us to be this far away from Liverpool at this halfway point. (But) we have to continue now.”

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Big role for VAR

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VAR played a significant role Friday, awarding a penalty to Manchester City in the first half after referee Martin Atkinson didn’t initially give it. Before then, City goalkeeper Ederson had already seen red for a foul outside his penalty box.

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Raheem Sterling saw his penalty saved by Rui Patricio but VAR ordered the spot kick to be retaken after encroachment in the box.

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Patricio stopped Sterling again, only for the English international to put in the rebound.

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Adama Traore, Raul Jimenez and in the 89th minute, Matt Doherty, scored in the second half for Wolves before Sterling was denied a hat-trick when his free kick struck the crossbar.

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Liverpool hosts Wolves and Manchester City hosts Sheffield United on Sunday, while Leicester City beat West Ham 2-1 on the road Saturday as the Premier League’s busy Christmas period continued.

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Tottenham missed a chance to move into the top four after a 2-2 draw at last-place Norwich, while Carlo Ancelotti made it two wins in two games as Everton manager thanks to a 2-1 result at Newcastle.

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