Pep Guardiola has suggested Manchester City have all-but given up on attempting to catch Liverpool, saying “forget about it”.

Manchester City battered relegation-threatened Aston Villa 6-1 at Villa Park on Sunday, also have won four of the last five in the Premier League – leapfrogging Leicester City to move second in the procedure. However, the gap between the champions and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool is a staggering 14 points, meaning the Reds would need to suffer a staggering drop in form if they should be captured. Guardiola is aware of this, and his reply was pretty conclusive when asked if Liverpool can be caught by his City side.

“Forget about it [top spot],” said Guardiola. “We would have liked to fight against them [Liverpool], but for many reasons we could not.

“Tonight, we go to sleep second in the table and one step closer to qualifying for the Champions League next season.”

Liverpool faced a tough competition in Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham this weekend, but passed the test with flying colours. Roberto Firmino netted the only goal of the game made it 20 wins from their 21 Premier League fixtures.

After the match, Klopp said: “First and foremost the result is the most important thing. One team deserved to win and that was us. To win at Tottenham is pretty special.

“That the game wasn’t decided after 50-60 minutes was our fault.

“It was very intense for us. You can expect them to defend deep in this stadium, but it was 4-6-0 in the first half. If it was easy to win here, a lot more teams would do it.

“I’m over the moon about the result, but we have to talk about the performance. We should have scored more goals – that’s the truth.

“We have to be honest with ourselves. We could have scored more and we have to – especially in this stadium against a team like Tottenham.

“We were on the ground towards the end and they were coming forward. The spell we’ve had, it costs you rhythm. In the second half a couple of our players were slightly exhausted, but we fought through that.”