Manchester Derby: City boss Pep Guardiola wary of United’s pace

Current Premier League holders Manchester City’s gaffer Pep Guardiola believes rivals Manchester United are ‘one of the best teams’ because of the pace they possess in attack.

The City head coach watched his team get outplayed at the start of December as Ole Gunnar Solskajer’s Red Devils side claimed an emphatic victory in the first Premier League derby of the season.

The arch-rivals are all set to play each other in the Carabao Cup semi-final on Tuesday night.

Speaking ahead of the game at Old Trafford, Guardiola heaped praise for his opposite number and predicted a similar game-plan from the Red Devils.

“It will be quite similar,” Guardiola said. “Of course at Old Trafford, it will be quite different from here, but they are a team that is built to run.

“When they can run they are one of the best teams, and not just in England, I would say, because of the pace they have – [Daniel] James, [Mason] Greenwood, [Anthony] Martial, [Marcus] Rashford and [Jesse] Lingard.

“I have the feeling they are going to run, one or two or three times, or as many times as possible, and we have to reduce the mistakes in the build-up. We have to be prepared for that but we have to do our game.”

Despite United’s win, City dominated in terms of possession and opportunities created and Guardiola did not feel his team did a lot wrong.

Guardiola added: “I am not going to prepare our game just thinking, ‘don’t let them run’.

“We have to go there and try to score a goal, play our game and try to get a good result from there.

“Except for the first minutes when we conceded three or four times when they could run, the rest of the game I liked a lot the game we played and the chances we created in many situations.

“I would like to play quite similar.”

The League Cup semi-final is a two-legged affair and City are the defending champions. With the Premier League title apparently heading to Anfield, Guardiola is forced to focus on the cup competitions after winning a domestic treble last year.