Kevin De Bruyne has warned Liverpool that Manchester City are not out of the Premier League title race yet.
A shock 3-2 defeat by Norwich on Saturday means the defending champions are five points behind leaders Liverpool after five games.
The Reds beat Newcastle 3-1 to maintain their 100% winning start to the campaign.
However, De Bruyne believes it is too early to rule City out of the title race, particularly as they came from further behind to claim the crown last term.
"Last season we were seven points behind – it happens," he said. “Of course we want to win every game but it's difficult.
“You have to respect the other team and when they do well. They do well and that's it.
“It will be tough, the next seven months, like last year. It never stops. It's our job and sometimes it's hard but you have to take it on the chin.
“We lost four games out of 38 last season and that is a good record. We can still win this season with the same points at the end of this season.”
De Bruyne was surprisingly left out of Pep Guadiola's starting XI for the trip to Carrow Road.
However, with City fighting on four fronts, the former Chelsea midfielder says he understands his manager's decision.
“We've got so many games going on so sometimes he [Guardiola] is going to make a change for whatever reason, you just have to take it and then if you can help the team...," he added.
“You know there's no point in saying 'I'm on the bench so we lost' - that's not the reason.
"You know it’s going to be a difficult task at 3-1. I tried to help the team but it wasn't enough.
"I think we put a little pressure on them but I think they defended really well, so in the end we scored too late.”
City begin their Champions League campaign with a trip to Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.
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