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Pep Guardiola snaps back at Erik ten Hag question ahead of Man City vs Man Utd | Football | Sport

Ten Hag’s style of play has not always convinced the Old Trafford faithful, despite the fact his United side have ground out six wins from their last seven matches. The Red Devils won ugly on Wednesday evening against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.

But when asked for his take on criticism levelled against Ten Hag surrounding a lack of identity on the pitch, Guardiola briskly interjected during his pre-match press conference on Friday.

“I always expect the best performance from our opponents,” said the City boss. “I don’t talk about opponents. I respect them too much and I don’t want people to misunderstand my words.

“It’s better that I don’t say anything. I have a lot of respect for Erik, United and the players. My players will know what they have to do today and tomorrow.”

City are under pressure to keep winning in a tense three-way battle for the Premier League title with Arsenal and Liverpool. United, meanwhile, can ill afford further slip-ups in their hunt for a top-four finish.

“Sir Jim Ratcliffe and others know the diagnosis of the club,” he said. “If Sir Jim says they need two or three years to be there [challenging for the title], who am I to say opposite? I’m sure they’ll work to close the gap. I’m not the right person to know [whether they can do it].”

City have won five of the last six meetings with United stretching back to 2021, including an emphatic 3-0 victory at Old Trafford earlier this campaign, in which Erling Haaland scored twice and Phil Foden bagged one for himself.

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