Manchester United manager José Mourinho has dismissed talk that his side can still challenge for the Premier League title after their 3-1 loss to Manchester City, and has instead claimed that they're now in a battle to finish in the top four.
The Red Devils were comprehensively outclassed by a superior Man City side during the game, and conceded after just 11 minutes as David Silva capped off a fine team attack. Sergio Agüero doubled his side's lead after the break, only for Anthony Martial's penalty to drag United back into the match midway through the second half.
However Pep Guardiola's side's win never looked in doubt, and İlkay Gündoğan's goal ensured the win for the Citizens late on.
The manager said: "It's 12 points (gap to City). I think our team is improving a lot, even defensively conceding three goals today, it was a positive defensive performance."
"We knew that there is a difference in potential. Since the beginning of the season, we knew that our second position last season was a fantastic achievement for us, and this season we are going to fight for the top four. We are outside of that, we are having very difficult away fixtures.
"Now we have to go for it and try to build on what we are doing."
Mourinho continued: "We are outside the top four. How can we speak about the title? To speak about the title you need to be in the top positions. So let's fight to close the gap and jump into the top four, if one day we jump into the top four, we'll see what the difference is."
The game will provide an ideal opportunity for a morale boosting win for the Red Devils, who's recent form had been encouraging ahead of Sunday's defeat.