Manchester City’s Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure calls for the ball during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Manchester City at Selhurst Park in south London on November 19, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLLY GREENWOOD
Yaya Toure is adamant Manchester City can still end the season as Premier League champions even after a humiliating 4-0 defeat by Everton left them 10 points behind leaders Chelsea.
Sunday’s reverse at Goodison Park prompted City manager Pep Guardiola to put an end to his side’s title hopes by saying top spot was now out of the question.
“The first one, yeah,” said Guardiola when asked if finishing top of the table was no longer possible.
“The first one is a 10-point gap and that is a lot of course. The second one is three points, so we have to see,” added the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss after the heaviest league loss of his managerial career.
Yet veteran City midfielder Toure insisted his side could mount an improbable rally with 17 matches of the league season left, starting with this weekend’s clash at home to second-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
“I think in the Premier League everything is possible,” said Toure. In football you have to be positive. I am a positive guy,” the 33-year-old Ivory Coast star added.
“I know it is tough sometimes but you have to accept that and continue to work hard, and we will have the chance. We just have to win a couple of games and everything will come back again.
“On Saturday we have an important game. We have to keep going. It is a difficult situation but what we have to do is work hard and try to bounce back.
“The league is still long. We have to try to do the business on Saturday and then we are coming back again.”
Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas put Everton firmly in control in the opening 46 minutes, before teenagers Tom Davies and Ademola Lookman, with their first goals for the club, completed the rout.
Nevertheless, Toure said: “When you see over the game it is difficult to take because we were more unlucky than lucky — all the rebounds, the ball always missing when coming back to you.
“But that is football, we have to understand that. It can happen. When you see all the game I don’t think we played badly.
“If you look at the result, 4-0, it means we played badly — but we didn’t play so badly. We were unlucky from my point of view.”
As for suggestions the players were feeling “low”, Toure replied: “Low? No. Of course nobody wants to lose this kind of game, and after the way we lost like that nobody wants to talk.
“But I don’t think we lack spirit. The guys were there. Sometimes football is unfair. I think it was a consequence of bad luck, what came.
“We have to try to be positive for the next game and look forward.”