Pep Guardiola has NOT watched Man City’s derby defeat to United back as he looks ahead to Southampton… with boss revealing his players have been ‘on fire’ to redeem themselves
- Manchester City’s 21-game winning run ended at home to Manchester United
- Pep Guardiola has explained that he did not watch the 2-0 loss to United back
- He said his players have been ‘on fire’ and are keen to make amends once more
- City can stretch the lead at the top of the Premier League against Southampton
Manchester City’s derby defeat has served as a vital reminder to retain concentration against elite opposition, according to Pep Guardiola.
City’s record-breaking 21-match winning run was ended by Manchester United and, while Guardiola believes his team took positives from the reverse, the manager stressed his team must eradicate individual mistakes when facing top sides.
City can again stretch their lead to 14 points in the quest for a third Premier League title in four seasons tonight against Southampton and are fighting on all four fronts with huge knockout matches on the horizon.
Pep Guardiola elected not to watch back Man City’s derby defeat on Sunday to Man United
United’s victory at the Etihad Stadium saw City’s 21-match winning run brought to an end
‘Sometimes I love to lose when you don’t lose competitions,’ Guardiola said. ‘It just makes you realise how difficult everything is in sport.
‘I would have preferred to win the game of course but the way we played was better than against West Ham last week. There are incredible positives from Sunday but why did we lose? We give them [goals].
‘United is a top club, a top side, they have top footballers, but we give [it to] them. When this happens against top clubs, you don’t win. When we start to concede against top players, we are going to lose.’
Gabriel Jesus gifted United a second-minute penalty before Joao Cancelo misread a Dean Henderson throw before Luke Shaw doubled their lead. Guardiola has regularly maintained that cutting out defensive errors is the key component behind this season’s stark improvement.
Guardiola said there was ‘sadness’ and his City players have been ‘on fire’ to make amends
The Catalan has been unwilling to discuss the prospect of City lifting the crown. His comments about defensive solidity will hold particular significance ahead of next week’s Champions League last-16 second leg with Borussia Monchengladbach and a likely quarter-final berth.
‘We have been solid,’ he added. ‘This season we are not a team to score many, many, many goals. We don’t have this quality. The quality we have as a team is to be solid, have rhythm, and not give them chances. That’s why we made this run.
‘Today in training the players were completely on fire. The desire to get the ball, how they communicated, how they talked, how they were upset when they made a mistake but reacted immediately. They were not slow or lazy, it was completely the opposite.
The City boss said they can emerge positively from the defeat as they face Southampton next
‘If we are able to fight for the titles, and maybe we can lift some, then it’s time to say, “Wow how good we were”. Then enjoy it.’
Guardiola also insisted that he will not allow Sergio Aguero’s future to act as a sideshow during the final quarter of their campaign. Aguero is out of contract in June, with new Barcelona president Joan Laporta earmarking the striker as a potential summer signing.
‘Maybe at the start of international break I will have more time and I will think about it,’ he said. ‘I am much more concerned about what we are playing for.
‘I don’t want to be distracted, because if I am distracted, the players will see that I am distracted and I have to be incredibly focused.’