Pep Guardiola hits back at former Manchester United duo: ‘We destroyed you in Champions League final’


Pep Guardiola has hit back at two former Manchester United players for criticizing the character of his Manchester City side.

he City manager was angered by comments from Patrice Evra and Dimitar Berbatov after last week’s staggering Champions League semi-final defeat at Real Madrid.

Evra claimed Guardiola’s team lacked personality and leaders, while Berbatov questioned City’s focus and focus after they gave up a 5-3 aggregate lead at the Bernabeu to go into injury time.

City have since scored 10 goals in two Premier League games to move to the brink of a fourth title in five years.

Guardiola – who was also irritated by some of the comments made by former Real Madrid midfielder Clarence Seedorf – claims it shows character lacking in United sides, who were beaten by his Barcelona side in the 2009 and 2011 finals.

Speaking at a press conference, Guardiola said: “It’s the same character and personality that we’ve lost in Madrid in recent years.

“Particular former players like Berbatov, Seedorf and Evra and people like that weren’t there. I played against them and I didn’t see that kind of personality when we destroyed United in the Champions League final.

“You can’t have a personality because you concede two goals in a minute after you’ve had chances? And in the last four (league) games we’ve scored 19 goals, so we have an incredible personality.

“I’m sorry, but I totally disagree. Personality is what we’ve been doing every three days in all competitions for the last five years.

“Maybe Liverpool will win all four titles or maybe just one. But shall I say that they have no personality and character, that they haven’t had an incredible season even if they lose the Premier League to us by a point or two?

“Don’t they have character and personality? Of course they do.

“Sometimes football is like that and it just happens. There are a lot of things we can’t control, but when you’re always in the last stages for four or five years, it’s incredible.”

City trip to West Ham on Sunday with an opportunity to effectively put a hand on the trophy.

Guardiola’s side lead the table by three points over Liverpool with just two games to go and a seven-point goal difference better than their Merseyside rivals.

Guardiola said: “Two games to go, every three points we win is so important. Still, we need six points.

“They will make six points, so we have to make the three and after that try to get the last ones at home.

“West Ham have had two exceptional seasons. They’re so strong in many departments, a top side and it’s going to be difficult.

“Everyone knows about winning at West Ham and it will be almost, almost done, goal difference and lots of things. It is absolutely a final.”

City have defensive concerns and will assess the fitness of Aymeric Laporte, Fernandinho and Nathan Ake ahead of the game.

Laporte limped out of the midweek win at Wolves with a knee injury, while Fernandinho had a muscle problem and Ake has played despite an ankle problem in recent weeks.

Guardiola said: “You have been under treatment these two days and we will see tomorrow. We won’t be able to decide exactly on the availability of the players until matchday.”

John Stones, Ruben Dias and Kyle Walker are already ruled out.

Meanwhile, UEFA announced on Friday that City would be fined €14,000 (approx.

Tempers flared after Felipe fouled City’s Phil Foden and the rout continued after the match in the tunnel. Atletico has not been sanctioned by UEFA’s control, ethics and disciplinary body. Pep Guardiola hits back at former Manchester United duo: ‘We destroyed you in Champions League final’

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