Rodri says Manchester City will not make it “easy” for Liverpool to win the Premier League title – and use last season’s courageous comeback to make a renewed challenge.
The champions slipped nine points behind Liverpool with a disappointing 3-1 defeat at Anfield on Sunday.
But Pep Guardiola’s men were seven points behind the Reds in the previous campaign before a stunning 14-match winning run saw them seal back-to-back titles on the final day by just one point.
“Absolutely not,” said midfielder Rodri when asked if the title race was over.
“We are far from them now, but there is still a big part of the season left. We are not going to give up. We are the current champions and we are not going to make it easy for anyone.
“This team has shown it many times before. This team has won the Premier League two seasons in a row and that isn’t a coincidence. This team has earned the respect and being considered in the title race.
“Last season, the team was seven points behind and they managed to win the league in the end.
“We are in November, there is still a lot left. Liverpool are very strong at the moment and everything is going right for them. Let’s see what happens in the future.”
City fumed over several refereeing decisions that went against them at Anfield, but with 18 shots on goal, only three were on target, and Rodri admitted Liverpool made them pay for missing chances.
“I think we have tried everything to win, but they have been more clinical in front of the goal,” added the Spaniard, who made his return from a hamstring injury at Anfield.
“It’s true that they are very talented in front. We have to improve some things, we need to be more clinical in the boxes.
“If you focus just on the result, 3-1, you might think it’s all bad, but the coach was proud of us, the team-mates were proud of our performance here.”
City are down to fourth place and next face Chelsea on November 23, with the Blues and Leicester City now eight points behind leaders Liverpool.