Louis van Gaal is adamant Manchester United will finish in the top four, despite suffering a shattering 3-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.
The Red Devils are now four points adrift of City with six games to go with a place in next season’s Champions League now in doubt but that notwithstanding, the United boss is refusing to give up on the chase.
“Every team can lose to everybody so we are still in the race. Of course when you lose a game you have to close the gap again and that is more difficult.
“Still we have a couple of matches to go and your opponents can lose lose matches, we have seen that.
“But I know that it is more difficult than before.”
The embattled Dutchman has also explained his decision to play Ashley Young as a striker during Manchester United’s defeat to Tottenham.
Spurs blew United away with a second-half blitz at White Hart Lane as goals from Dele Alli, Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela secured a 3-0 win.
Young, who has been out of action with a groin injury, replaced Marcus Rashford at half-time during the clash and immediately took his place up top with Anthony Martial remaining on the left-flank.
And at full-time Van Gaal explained the decision with his side now facing an uphill battle to make the top four.
“I want more running in behind because in the first half we didn’t have an attacking point,” he said.
“I have said to the boys that until the first goal we played a very good away match with possibilities to score.
“Within five minutes the game is over with the second and third goals and that cannot happen. I know that, but OK that has happened and we have to cope with that.”