Be­ing coached by Pep ‘bet­ter than sex’ – Alves

The Independent on Saturday - - SPORT -

MANCH­ESTER City man­ager Pep Guardiola does not think to­mor­row’s derby against Manch­ester United (6.30pm SA time kick-off) will de­fine his team’s cam­paign, but is still keen to avoid a re­peat of last sea­son’s de­feat by the same op­po­nents.

City were in con­trol against United in the cor­re­spond­ing fix­ture at the Eti­had Sta­dium last term, lead­ing by two first-half goals, only for United to stage a sec­ond-half rally and win 3-2.

“We have to play good,” Guardiola said yes­ter­day. “If we play good, we have a chance to win. (Our goal is al­ways) to play amaz­ingly for 90 min­utes against top teams.

“I would like to play the same game as last sea­son when we were on top for 75 min­utes but United showed us that they just need 10 or 15 min­utes to cre­ate chances. When they have the ball, they can cre­ate some­thing be­cause they have in­cred­i­ble talent.”

Both teams are in good form, with sev­enth-placed United on a three-game win­ning streak and league lead­ers City hav­ing gone 11 games un­beaten in all com­pe­ti­tions.

Guardiola is look­ing for­ward to the bat­tle but be­lieves the fix­ture has come too soon to have sig­nif­i­cant bear­ing on the ti­tle race. “We are in November so maybe the game at Old Traf­ford (in March) will be more de­ci­sive. Of course we are on a good run, United as well. It’s a good derby. All of them are spe­cial.”

The man­ager also re­it­er­ated his faith in the club in the wake of al­le­ga­tions that they had cir­cum­vented fi­nan­cial fair play rules.

“If peo­ple want to un­der­mine what we have done, no prob­lem. We live our lives. Opin­ions are opin­ions. I have said I trust the club. If there is some­thing wrong, we will be pun­ished.”

The al­le­ga­tions against City stem from the re­lease of the “Foot­ball Leaks” doc­u­ments, which in­clude emails, con­tracts and pre­sen­ta­tions.

The doc­u­ments were ob­tained by Ger­man pub­li­ca­tion Der Spiegel and re­viewed by Reuters in partnership with in­ter­na­tional me­dia con­sor­tium Euro­pean In­ves­tiga­tive Col­lab­o­ra­tions.

The City man­ager’s news con­fer­ence ended in up­roar­i­ous laugh­ter af­ter he re­sponded to his for­mer player, Brazil­ian Dani Alves’s comment that be­ing coached by Guardiola at Barcelona was “bet­ter than sex”.

Alves made the comment in a doc­u­men­tary about Guardiola’s all-con­quer­ing spell at Barcelona, where they won three La Liga ti­tles and the Cham­pi­ons League twice. “I pre­fer the sex,” a grin­ning Guardiola said in re­sponse to a ques­tion on Alves’s comment. “By far!” | Reuters

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