Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has told his players to forget about Liverpool in their pursuit of a second consecutive Premier League title.
City beat 10-man Wolves 3-0 on Monday to reduce the gap between themselves and the league leaders to four points.
And the Spaniard believes it is better for his side to concentrate on their own games rather than tracking Liverpool’s progress.
“We can’t do anything about Liverpool’s games, they belong to them,” he said.
“The only way to put that pressure on is by being there and maybe one day they fail.
“I say to them don’t look at the calendar for Liverpool’s games, forget about it. Because normally when that happens you lose your games.”
A Gabriel Jesus double and a Conor Coady own goal saw City cruise past Wolves at Etihad Stadium and move onto 53 points.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool had briefly moved seven points clear with a 1-0 win at Brighton on Saturday and Guardiola wants his team to “be there until the end”.
“It is not easy to maintain this consistency because it was incredible the numbers we had last season,” he added.
“Liverpool are one team and they have done better so far, so that is why all you can do is be in there.
“We have spoken many times in the last hours with our players so we cannot control what they do – we can control what we do.
“But it is pretty sure that if we don’t win, they will be champions, so that is why we have to put pressure on by winning our games.”
How tight is this year’s title race?
Normally Liverpool’s impressive start would mean a sizeable lead but a four-point cushion is the smallest of any team with at least 55 points at this stage.
There have never been two teams with more than 51 points at this stage of a Premier League season but this year Liverpool have 57 and City 53.
The two sides also have the highest combined points total of the top two sides after 22 games in any Premier League season.