Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Guardiola: Manchester derby is a competitive game


Manchester City coach Spain Pep Guardiola, whose side will contest the Manchester derby and Premier League summit the day after tomorrow, said playing at Old Trafford was always a special occasion.

Defending champions City are second in the table, six points behind their eighth-placed neighbours.

“Pep” explained – this Friday – to the press, “When I was a coach at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, when I went to England to play with United at Old Trafford, this thing was always special and had special scenes. A special place, of course it is ours. Special for fans.

He continued, “At the end of the day, it’s a football match. It’s not an FA Cup final or a win or lose match that decides who wins or who loses the Premier League title… It’s still (the tenth match of the season), so 87 to go.” “We’ll play for a point, it’s another match.”

Guardiola added that Sunday’s match against Manchester United (the 91st derby between the two teams) will be a good test of his team’s mentality.

He continued, “We’ve won a lot (of matches and championships) and it’s not about whether we win or not. What happens? I want to see that my team has the right mindset to win these matches.”

Last season’s treble winners lost two consecutive matches in the Premier League before the international break, but bounced back with two wins against Brighton in the Premier League and Young Boys in the Champions League.

Erik ten Haag’s United have won three matches in a row, including a thrilling 1-0 win over Copenhagen in the Champions League last Tuesday.

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City beat United 6-3 last season but lost 2-1 at Old Trafford.

The Citizens beat Al-Manio in the FA Cup final that same year, and equaled United’s record of winning the treble in 1999.

Guardiola insisted, “It’s okay, it’s a good match. We won the treble. For us, it’s very important for us to have the chance to reach Istanbul (for the Champions League final) as a team.”

The Spanish coach concluded that it is too early to know which teams will compete for the Premier League title.

“All the teams are in the competition, some teams that are a little late can come back… When you only play 9 matches, a lot of things happen. We were late in February and March, but we had the ability to win.”
(League Title)”

Camelia Garner
Camelia Garner
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