Guardiola congratulates team despite loss to Manchester United

The reigning champions fell further behind Liverpool in the title race after losing to their local rivals but the coach was happy with what he saw

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he has “no regrets” over his side’s approach to Saturday’s match against Manchester United, despite going down to a 2-1 derby defeat.

The reigning Premier League champions slipped up at home against their local rivals, who were 2-0 up within 30 minutes after Marcus Rashford converted a penalty and Anthony Martial slotted past Ederson.

Nicolas Otamendi pulled one back for the home side with five minutes left, but there was no way back for Guardiola’s side, who are now 14 points behind current league leaders Liverpool.

Despite the result, Guardiola was “more than happy” with his side’s performance and could not fault their effort against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team.

“We conceded three or four counter attacks in the first half,” he told Sky Sports. “They were clinical but I am more than happy for our performance.

“We pushed them, we created chances. In general I am happy with the performance. No regrets.

“I know who we are as a team. I am delighted to work with these guys. We tried and we tried in the second half. Unfortunate we scored late and could not turn the result.

He continued to BBC Sport: “Yes we lost 1-2 but I congratulate my team, my players were fantastic, we are a fantastic team.

“They are so fast, so quick and sometimes when you lose the ball it is more difficult. We tried, we got to the last third many, many times and they can run – maybe a bit more than usual.”

Despite City falling further behind the Reds in the race for the title, Guardiola insists his side must not give up while they still have a chance of catching Jurgen Klopp’s team.

“It is not time to think about that,” he added. “We have to think about what we have to do and think about the next game. Doesn’t matter if six, eight or 14 points we have to continue. We are a fantastic team.”

City released a statement after the game confirming they are cooperating with police after reports United players Fred and Jesse Lingard were the target of racist abuse from the crowd.

And Guardiola says he fully supports the club’s stance on the matter.

“Of course not,” he said when asked if such behaviour is acceptable. “I think the club are making a statement and I support that.”

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