Pep Guardiola refused to criticise his players following the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United and says there is so much still to play for.

The City boss admitted there were some issues concerning counter-attacks, but says he was pleased with the way his team performed overall.

“I like my team how they play,” said Pep. “We conceded a little bit more than the last few years against United.

REPORT: City 1-2 United: Official verdict 

“We conceded a few chances on the counter. We lost balls, but in general we did what we like to do.

“We arrive in the final third many times. I like my team. 

“We have to try and improve the amount of counter-attacks we conceded, or the way we play, press, push...teams defend deep and make a counter-attack.

“We struggled a little in the first half, but it can happen. 

“If we do things wrong we will improve. But we cannot deny United’s quality.  We try to learn for the future.”

With Liverpool dropping just two points all season, the champions are now 14 points adrift of the leaders – but Pep says his players won’t be throwing in the towel and, if things don’t go City’s way this term, the battle will resume next season

“We have to continue,” he said. “If we are not able to (catch Liverpool), then we want to try next season. 

“Sometimes you don't win, the others are better, and you lose. The normal thing is not winning all the leagues and trophies.

“Sometimes you lose. The important thing is to not give up.

“In all the games we have played this season, we have played how I want us to play. When we struggle – OK - but it’s part of the process, maybe next season we will be better.”