Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy said the defending champions were not prepared to surrender the Premier League title to Liverpool despite trailing the leaders by 11 points.
Pep Guardiola’s side moved to within a point of second-placed Leicester City following an impressive 3-1 victory over the Foxes at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
However, Liverpool still have a game in hand on both clubs as they return home following their victory over Brazilian club Flamengo in the Club World Cup final in Doha.
The Reds have won 16 of 17 league games this season but Mendy hopes Leicester can slow their title charge when the top two meet on Boxing Day.
Asked if Liverpool can still be caught, Mendy said: “Of course. If not we would stop playing now and give the cup to Liverpool. We need to try to fight until the end and we will see what happens.
“Leicester are a good team. They can be very difficult to play, they have great players. They are doing well, so I hope they do the same game and they win.
“I am a Man City fan, but if they win it’s good.”
City have recovered well from their damaging 2-1 home defeat by Manchester United earlier this month, with the display against Leicester described as one of their best this term by manager Pep Guardiola.
They face a gruelling Christmas schedule with a trip to Wolves on December 27 followed by the visit of Sheffield United two days later.
Guardiola recently said his players would need to spend “two days in the fridge” to cope with the physical demands over the festive period.
“It is important to keep going,” said left-back Mendy. “In the Premier League we need to try to take the three points in all the games.
“Last year we lost a lot of points at this time. This year we are more focused and I think it is a very crucial moment for the league.”