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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Other SportsManchester derby is just another game, says City boss Guardiola

Manchester derby is just another game, says City boss Guardiola

Pep Guardiola says it’s too early in the season to class Sunday’s Manchester derby as anything more than just “another game”.

Guardiola’s Manchester City have made another impressive start to the Premier League season, despite uncharacteristic back-to-back defeats to Wolves and Arsenal, and sit second, two points adrift of leaders Tottenham.

United are a further six points back in eighth but Guardiola is still wary of the talent in Erik ten Hag’s squad.

He said: “They are always dangerous. It doesn’t matter the managers – and I have seen a few – they are always a tough opponent with the quality of the individual, the character, the momentum.

“They have the ability not to be on top and then just score goals. We know their quality, no doubt about that.”

Asked to rate United and the rest of City’s title challengers, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss said nine games was not sufficient to make a proper analysis.

“It’s too early,” added Guardiola. “When you play just nine games, many things can happen from my experience. We have been behind in February and March and have been able to win at the end.

“All the time when you get the fixtures, United are a contender. Ask me the question with nine games left and I will say if they are contenders but late October it is not going to happen.”

Ten Hag said “all eyes will be on this game globally” but Guardiola was happy to play down the size of the occasion.

“Old Trafford is a special place and it is special for our fans,” he said.

“But it is just a football game, not like an FA Cup final or one of the last fixtures of the season where winning or losing can define winning the Premier League or not.

“There are still 87 points to play for so it is another game and we have to be focused on what we have to do to beat them.”

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Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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