Pep on derby defeat: We played good!

Peter Smith

Comment and Analysis @psmithXI

Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay seal third Manchester derby win of the season for Manchester United.

Last Updated: 08/03/20 8:33pm

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Pep Guardiola refused to criticise goalkeeper Ederson after his two errors led to Manchester United’s goals in the derby day defeat
Pep Guardiola refused to criticise goalkeeper Ederson after his two errors led to Manchester United’s goals in the derby day defeat

Pep Guardiola refused to criticise his Manchester City players despite seeing his side suffer yet another defeat to Manchester United – but Bernardo Silva labelled the 2-0 loss as “unacceptable”.

Goals from Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay – both helped by errors from City goalkeeper Ederson – sealed a third derby win of the season for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United at Old Trafford.

However, Guardiola – who has only once been beaten by an opponent so many times in a season before and never suffered as many as the seven league losses his team have endured in 2019/20 in one campaign – was adamant City had performed well.

Man Utd 2-0 Man City – match stats

Man Utd Stat Man City
27.7% Possession 72.3%
12 Shots 7
6 On target 4

“Good game. We played good. Our positional game was really good,” he told Sky Sports.

“We missed a little bit, especially in the first half, when we arrive in position, the three quarters, to be a little more aggressive. We concede a goal, we should avoid it. Second half was good. Congratulations United.

“We were a little bit more aggressive [in the second half] but in terms of the way we play, we played good in both [halves].”

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United’s win against Manchester City in the Premier League
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United’s win against Manchester City in the Premier League

On the two goals conceded, Guardiola stood firmly beside Ederson and refused to criticise the goalkeeper for allowing Martial’s shot to slip under him after Bruno Fernandes’ clever free-kick, or for throwing the ball to McTominay in the final moments of the game.

“We knew sometimes Fernandes makes this kind of chipping but the quality of the opponents always counts.

“[Ederson] played, he saved one or two, he’s an exceptional goalkeeper.

“You don’t make mistakes? I don’t make mistakes? I don’t come here to judge my players if they make mistakes. It’s part of the game. He will recover and he’s an exceptional goalkeeper.

“We play so good, I told you. Even when we win 5-0 we can play better.

“We play a good game. The schedule, we know. Liverpool are far away and we want to play the game for ourselves. We thought about today and we did it.”

Guardiola also rejected the suggestion his team’s motivation levels have dropped off in the league, with cups now their priority.

“Did you see a lack of motivation in how the players moved, pressed, made the United players play long balls and how they couldn’t make three passes in a row? It’s not true,” he said in his post-match press conference.

“The team wanted to do it and were able to do it, so it is not a lack of motivation, it’s a lack of concentration. It happens, mistakes are part of the game, good actions are part of the game.

“The behaviour is good and how quick we moved the ball and how we arrived in the final third, especially in the second half, was good. I’m satisfied, I know we lost, but I liked the game we played. When I don’t like it, I tell you.”

Bernardo: It wasn’t acceptable

Bernardo Silva battles with Brandon Williams in the Manchester derby
Bernardo Silva battles with Brandon Williams in the Manchester derby

City midfielder Bernardo Silva was far more critical in his analysis of the game and branded his side’s performance in the fixture as unacceptable.

“It was a bad game for us. In my opinion not acceptable,” he told Sky Sports. “Very bad day.

“We didn’t start very bad, I think we were playing quite well until we conceded a goal. But we know how Manchester United plays, how good they are on the counter-attack, how aggressive they are defensively. Not a good performance, not acceptable for us.

“We have to watch the game, we have to listen to what Pep has to say. It’s too close now to know what we lacked but a team like ours cannot lose this many games in the Premier League as we have lost so far this season. We need to check what’s not going right and not make the same mistakes.

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“From my point of view and from where I was, it was clear it was not a foul [for the free-kick before the opener]. The referees like us, like all the players, they can also make mistakes. It’s football, it’s what it is.

“The reality is that the pressure is not on the Premier League, we don’t have much pressure because we know our position is probably not changing a lot because we won’t get to the title, I think we’ll be second to qualify for the Champions League.

“That’s a thing but it’s a derby game, it’s an important game for our fans and it’s not acceptable to come here and play the way we did and lose 2-0.”

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Source : Sky Sports