Title defence is over for Manchester City, according to Savage

The outspoken pundit believes defeat to Crystal Palace has almost certainly ended any Manchester City hopes of defending their title.

Robbie Savage has told BBC Sport that he considers Manchester City’s title defence to be over.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side were beaten 2-1 by Crystal Palace on Monday to leave them nine points behind leaders Chelsea, who also have a game in hand.

That defeat also saw them slip to fourth in the table behind fierce rivals Manchester United and Arsenal, with a derby date with the former set to be staged at Old Trafford on Sunday.

As far as Savage is concerned, though, City’s title defence was over before their defeat to Palace as a result of a poor run of form, with the loss in London confirming the inevitable.

“For me, City's title defence is over now,” said Savage.

“But, let's face it, it had effectively ended before they lost at Palace.”

Failure to defend the Premier League title is not an uncommon thing for City, who also offered up a weak defence the season after they won it under former manager Roberto Mancini.

As far as Savage is concerned, though, the side should focus on finishing this season well. That would mean securing second place, ahead of Arsenal and Manchester United, and the automatic Champions League place that comes with it.

Speaking of United, the pundit believes finishing above them would be ideal for City, although it looks a lot less likely than it did a month ago.

“The important thing for them now is to finish the season well,” he added.

“Ideally, that would mean finishing second and above United but, like their chances of beating their neighbours, that also looks far less likely than it did a month or so ago.”

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