The postponement of City’s home fixture against West Ham United on Sunday ensured that Jurgen Klopp’s side will return to action against Norwich City following their winter break with their 22-point lead at the summit still intact.
Guardiola’s side have accumulated the two highest points totals in Premier League history over the previous two seasons, securing back-to-back titles with 100 points in 2017/18 and 98 points last term when they won their last 14 games on the bounce to edge out the Reds by a single point.
But such has been Liverpool’s dominance this campaign, the title race never really got going, and the Anfield side now just need 18 more points to secure their first Premier League title.
It’s a level of dominance that Guardiola admits he could not have envisaged.
Quoted by the National, he said: “We have a big rival 22 points ahead and that’s not good.
“We did something incredible and Liverpool is doing it now.
“We cannot deny the distance is big: 22 points. We didn’t expect it but we have to respect it.”
In 2018, City finished the Premier League season 25 points ahead of Liverpool, which currently represents a 47-point swing between the respective clubs’ fortunes.
He added: “Two years ago, we were 25 points ahead of them.
“This group of players won something unique.”