MANCHESTER — The season is barely past the halfway point and already Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has virtually given up on winning the title.
The world’s most coveted coach can’t have envisaged his first year in English soccer being this tough.
It takes something special to overshadow a match between bitter rivals Manchester United and Liverpool, but City’s 4-0 loss at Everton on Sunday did just that.
As he slumped to the heaviest loss of his career in a domestic league match, Guardiola — with his arms folded — was seen staring into space while he sat in the Goodison Park dug-out. At other times, he had his face in his hands.
City has dropped out of the Champions Leagues positions, into fifth place, and 10 points adrift of leader Chelsea.
Asked if the gap to first place was now too great, Guardiola said: “(To) the first one? Yes. Ten points is a lot of points. The second one is three points. We have to see.”
A fifth loss of the league season was administered by a team managed by Guardiola’s friend and former Barcelona teammate, Ronald Koeman.
Everton 4, Manchester City 0 While there was misery for City at Goodison Park, there was jubilation for Everton after a win that was sealed by goals from two of the club’s promising teenagers.
Goals either side of halftime by Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas set Everton on its way before 18-year-old midfielder Tom Davies raced into the area and dinked a deft finish over goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.
Manchester United 1, Liverpool 1 Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalized late for United to bail out teammate Paul Pogba in a frantic, intense match at Old Trafford between the two most decorated teams in English soccer.
On the day United rolled out advertising displaying Paul Pogba’s new Twitter emoji, the player himself made a crucial mistake by conceding a penalty for handball while jumping with his back to the ball at a corner.