Weekend in sport: Manchester City secures crucial win in Liverpool chase; Crimson Tide to face Clemson again; Jon Jones retakes UFC belt

    Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says that his team can't afford to drop points as it chases Liverpool.

    (CNN)Manchester City plays catch up to swaggering Liverpool... Bama prepares to meet Clemson (again)... Bones makes dream UFC comeback... Cameron Bancroft struggles in his return from the wilderness... Federer warms up for Australian Open with effortless Hopman Cup win. This is your weekend sporting roundup.

    Man City secures crucial win to keep title hopes alive

    Manchester City downed Southampton 3-1 to break out of the slump that saw it lose two games in a row to unfancied opposition, a blip that gave Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool the Christmas gift of a seven-point lead.
      We're just at the halfway point in the English Premier League -- which grinds on through the cold end-of-year weeks while most other leagues are taking a winter break -- but Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says that, even at this stage, each game is crunch time.
        Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City battles with Southampton's Nathan Redmond.
        Calling Liverpool one of the best teams in Europe, the Spaniard said that thanks to Klopp's side's swagger, "(if) we drop points, it's over, it's finished -- it would be almost impossible."
        Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates following his team's win over Arsenal.
        The top two face off at the Etihad Stadium Thursday in a match which looks key to the eventual destination of the title.
        The imperious northeast side is setting a relentless pace, with Saturday's shuddering 5-1 win over Arsenal -- the fifth-best team in the league, according to the table -- just the latest sign that the momentum is with the Reds.
          The stuttering North Londoners also need to start looking behind them, as Manchester United's new man Ole Gunnar Solskjær continued his perfect start to his stewardship with a 4-1 win over Bournemouth.