Belfast Telegraph

Club comparisons mean nothing on derby day – Guardiola

Reigning champions City are 11 points behind leaders Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola says historical and recent records will matter little in the Manchester derby (Martin Rickett/PA)
Pep Guardiola says historical and recent records will matter little in the Manchester derby (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Andy Hampson, PA

Pep Guardiola claims the argument over which club is the biggest in Manchester is irrelevant on derby day.

The Manchester City boss accepts United have been the greater club historically but has no doubt his side, the reigning Premier League champions, have been better in recent years.

All that, however, will have no influence on the outcome when the sides meet at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, he believes.

Guardiola said: “For United’s fans, they’ll always be the biggest club. For the City fans, they’ll always be the biggest club. We love our clubs.

“Each fan loves their club and that’s why they support them. It doesn’t matter if you have a lot of success in the past, it’s part of what they feel.

“If you’re looking at the trophy cabinet, they (United) are better, no doubts about that. Numbers are numbers and in that situation they’ve lifted more titles than us.

For United's fans, they'll always be the biggest club. For the City fans, they'll always be the biggest club. We love our clubs. Pep Guardiola

“But we’re trying to be there for as long as possible and for City fans, Manchester City will always be better. Like United fans believe they are better.

“In the time we’ve been here, we’ve been better than United. At the end of the season, our points show that. The consistency was incredible.

“But in one game or another game, a derby, anything can happen. We are not here to judge the results or what distance there is between teams or the past or the future.

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Man City have enjoyed tremendous domestic success under Pep Guardiola (Nick Potts/PA)

“It’s just tomorrow, 5.30pm – the game, try to beat them.”

Having fallen 11 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool, City will be anxious to take three points off their neighbours.

City, who are third in the table, have already lost three times this season and, having been pleased with performances, Guardiola is at a loss to explain the gap.

He said: “It’s difficult to answer. I don’t know. I would like to discover the reason for this big gap with Liverpool.

“One is, no doubt, the quality of the opponent. I repeat, one game lost in almost 60, the numbers are incredible.

“When I review all the games we’ve played, even Norwich, we created 20 shots.

“We are the best team by far at creating chances and the best team by far at conceding few.

“We’ve been much better than the opponents but we are 11 points behind. So something has happened.”

PA

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