Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola praised a ‘clinical’ Manchester United side after their derby success at The Etihad on Saturday night.
First-half goals from Marcus Rashford, from the penalty spot, and Anthony Martial set up a 2-1 Premier League win for the visitors.
It was a thrilling encounter, although the game was marred by crowd problems including an alleged racial gesture from a City supporter towards a United player and the throwing of missiles.
While City were left to rue a defeat that left them 14 points behind leaders Liverpool, it was a result that breathed further life into United’s campaign after their midweek victory over Tottenham.
Guardiola claimed his side’s approach was no different than normal, but on this occasion they were punished by a clinical United.
He said: “I like my team, how they played. We conceded a little bit more than usual but we knew the pace they have with (Daniel) James, Martial and Rashford.
“Sometimes it is not possible to control it because when you lose the ball it is difficult.
“In general we did what we liked, we arrived in the final third many times. Unfortunately we cannot finish a little bit more but I like to watch my team like this.
“We conceded four or five counter-attacks, that’s all. I think all the teams know it happens.
“Normally we are able to control it but today we struggled a little but in the first half. Sometimes this can happen, especially for the quality of the opponents.”
With Liverpool beating Bournemouth earlier in the day, City’s hopes of winning a third successive title are receding rapidly.
Guardiola said: “If we were only five points behind, 10 points, 14, 20 – we would have to continue.
“I have said many times in the last weeks we have to continue. If we are not able we are going to try next season.”
Meanwhile, Man City are the latest club to register their interest in Inter Milan striking talent Lautaro Martinez, following in the footsteps of a host of European heavyweights including Man Utd, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
The 22-year-old has combined with Romelu Lukaku to form a lethal partnership at the San Siro this season.
The duo have contributed 24 goals between them across all competitions, with Argentine Martinez responsible for 13 of those. Read more…