April 19, 2021

Man Utd

News

Guardiola says United better in the derby than in Leeds thrashing

2 min read

Pep Guardiola has said that Manchester United were better in the derby than they were in the 6-2 thrashing of Leeds in December.

And he defended his Manchester City team’s lack-lustre display in the 2-0 reverse at the Etihad Stadium by saying the Blues’ performance was an improvement on their display in victory against West Ham a week earlier.

The Reds brought City’s remarkable, record-breaking 21-match winning streak skidding to a halt in the derby, but the Blues remain 11 points clear – and can extend that against Southampton tonight.

But Guardiola claimed the Reds were on top of their game in the derby, and that he was impressed by his own team’s performance, if not the result.

“There are incredible positive things from Sunday,” said Guardiola. “(We were) better than the West Ham game and they were worse against Leeds than against us.

“I was impressed by Leeds, they never gave up. More shots on target. Football is sometimes like this.”

Leeds, managed by one of Guardiola’s favourite coaches in Marcelo Bielsa, were hammered 6-2 at Old Trafford after adopting a bold attacking approach.

The City boss was also satisfied that his side had improved on their 2-1 win over top four hopefuls West Ham a week earlier.

“I’m more calm because we were better than against West Ham,” he said. “We lost and have to accept it. United are a top club, top side, and when it happens you don’t win.”

Guardiola said he had not had time to analyse the derby, but said sorting out defensive mistakes was the key to his team responding in the right way against the Saints.

“What do we improve? Not making mistakes behind. We are not a team to score many goals, we don’t have this quality.

“We try to be solid, have rhythm and not give chances. That’s why we’ve made this run.”

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