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Pep and Ten Hag react after Manchester Derby


Pep Guardiola [BBC MOTD Screen Shot]
Pep Guardiola [BBC MOTD Screen Shot]

Pep Guardiola says he has no regrets after watching his Manchester City team suffer a defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Manchester United on Saturday.


The Cityzens again failed to close the gap on table-toppers Arsenal as Erik Ten Hag’s Red Devils ran out 2-1 winners in the Manchester Derby at Old Trafford.



Man City dominated most of the possession and got their reward when substitute Jack Grealish broke the deadlock three minutes after stepping onto the pitch.



But Ten Hag's side loosened the shackles and found a new spirit for a comeback, as Bruno Fernandes equalised in controversial circumstances and Rashford scoring for the 9th time on the bounce at home to make it 2-1.


Guardiola's side could be eight points adrift of league leaders Arsenal at the end of the weekend if the Gunners seal a win in the North London derby.


Speaking to BBC Match of the Day after the match, Guardiola said: "Congratulations to United. People will understand how nice Manchester City is. It was a fantastic game. We controlled the transitions better in the second half against Rashford and their fast players.


"We had the right spirit to do it. We were close and we have to improve when we concede the goal, and be more stable, the gap between the first and second goal is too close. 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. 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. In every game, we have to perform. We always play in these sorts of games and in others we struggle a little bit."


When asked about the equalising goal, the Spaniard said: "Marcus Rashford is offside, Bruno Fernandes is not. 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."


On what they could improve, he admitted: "Maybe our threat up front. Our people up front were not decisive. They run really well and punish us in the counter attack.


"I know how we behave. We've finished above them five or six years in a row, I know exactly how we behave."


Ten Hag who was in a better mood, said he can understand the issues with Fernandes’ goal.


"The first half we played very well. We defended very well and broke in good opportunities. We were really happy at half-time,” the United boss said.


"After half-time we had to sub Martial, he had some complaints, and the game changed. City came in, we were not proactive. They scored. The spirit of the team is so huge, the belief is there that the game is 90 minutes and we can fight back. I’m really happy with the performance of the team."


The Dutchman added: "I can see it from the other side as well. The rules, it’s a confusing moment for the back line of the opponent. The rules say Marcus didn't touch the ball and he wasn’t interfering. Bruno came from the back – but I can see it from the other side."



On Rashford recovering from a knock in the first-half, Ten Hag explained: "Players have to be resilient. You get kicked in a game. It happened and it hurts but you have to keep going. You have to do it to get the right result and performance. Deal with the painful moment and the game will go on. In top football, you have to suffer and sacrifice to get the right result.


"The belief is back and we're in a good direction. You have to work out of possession [against teams like City]. They have qualities in split-moments to score goals. We saw that today. One mistake and they scored."



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