Pep Guardiola in stunning title admission as Man City hopes hit by derby defeat to Man Utd

Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2022 TEAMtalk21

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola insists he is not concerned about winning trophies and remained philosophical after defeat to Manchester United.

City went into the Old Trafford clash looking to close the gap to table-topping Arsenal. But a 2-1 loss means they could trail the Gunners by eight points if Mikel Arteta’s men beat Tottenham on Sunday. Following a goalless first half, the Citizens took the lead through Jack Grealish.

The England man headed his side in front on the hour from a cross by Kevin de Bruyne. However, the Red Devils were back on level terms on 78 minutes as Bruno Fernandes found the net.

The goal was awarded despite City’s vociferous protests that Marcus Rashford was standing in an offside position.

There was nothing controversial about the hosts winner, however, as Rashford got on the end of Alejandro Garnacho’s cross to send the fans wild.

The victory means United are now just one point behind City in the standings.

Guardiola was not too downbeat after the final whistle. And he feels his men played a full part in an excellent Manchester derby.

“Congratulations to United. People will understand how nice Manchester City is. It was a fantastic game,” he told BBC Sport.

“We controlled the transitions better in the second half against Rashford and their fast players. And we had the right spirit to do it.

“We were close and we have to improve when we concede the goal, be more stable, the gap between the first and second goal is too close.”

Guardiola putting performance above trophies

Manchester City have been the dominant force in English football in recent years. They have won the Premier League on six occasions since first lifting the trophy in 2011-2012.

The north-west giants have also won four consecutive EFL Cup titles. They will not claim that prize this season after crashing out to Southampton in the quarter-finals.

But it seems as though the manager is willing to look past silverware as long as his charges keep putting on stellar displays.

“In general I have no regrets. I don’t care if we don’t win the Carabao Cup or the Premier League, we’ll try,” he added.

“I don’t care when a team performs how we play. It was quite similar to the many, many years we’ve been here.

“There are plenty of points to play for and we have to play there.”

United’s equaliser came in controversial circumstances. And the former Barcelona chief believes that the Old Trafford factor may have influenced the officials.

“Marcus Rashford is offside, Bruno Fernandes is not,” he continued. “Rashford distracted our keeper and centre defenders. It is what it is. We know where we play. It is difficult for the referees in these stadiums.”

Guardiola urges forwards to give him more

City have been easy on the eye for many years, with an array of world-class attacking stars gracing the Etihad.

The addition of Erling Haaland has added another dimension to the side.

However, Guardiola aimed a slight dig at his forwards, suggesting there was not enough urgency going forward.

“Maybe our threat up front,” he said. “Our people up front were not decisive. They run really well and punish us in the counter attack.”

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