- Associated Press - Sunday, January 15, 2017

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) - Pep Guardiola endured the heaviest league defeat of his coaching career as Manchester City was thrashed 4-0 by Everton in the Premier League on Sunday to plummet further out of title contention.

Two weeks after a 1-0 loss at Liverpool, City had more misery on Merseyside following goals by Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas, 18-year-old midfielder Tom Davies and 19-year-old debutant Ademola Lookman.

City has now lost three of its last four matches away, with the latest setback for Guardiola coming at the hands of a team managed by his former Barcelona teammate, Ronald Koeman. The team had dropped out of the top four - into fifth place - following wins for Tottenham and Arsenal on Saturday, and is now 10 points behind first-placed Chelsea.

“It is awful for my players,” Guardiola said.

“I said to the players ‘be positive’ because they have made fantastic things in this season.”

The title is looking out of reach for City now, though, just when things appeared to be looking up after a 5-0 win at West Ham in the FA Cup last week.

It was another poor defensive display, summed up in injury time when John Stones - a former Everton player - tried to clear the ball for a throw-in only to see it ricochet off Everton defender Seamus Coleman to set up Lookman. Signed from Charlton this month and on as a late substitute for his Everton debut, Lookman completed City’s misery by shooting through Bravo’s legs.

Pep Guardiola knows it is a project at Manchester City,” Koeman said. “Of course, maybe they expected better results and a defeat like this is really strong but Pep has the experience to turn it around. I don’t doubt it.”

Lukaku sidefooted home a square ball from Mirallas to put Everton ahead in the 34th, with the move sparked by Davies intercepting Gael Clichy’s ball forward from left back.

Starting for a second straight game, Davies was everywhere - even clearing Bacary Sagna’s header off the line just before halftime at Goodison Park.

Ross Barkley slipped in Mirallas to score with an angled shot in the 47th before the best goal of the match, Davies dinking the ball over goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and inside the near post to crown an impressive individual display.

“The consequence of the game is an example of many that has happened this season,” Guardiola said. “In football, you sometimes don’t need to do many things to score. They arrive once and score a goal. It is not today, it is almost all the season and it is tough for the players to handle that situation.”

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