Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Guardiola defends Woodward and condemns supporter trouble after Manchester derby

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Jan 2020

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Pep Guardiola praised Ed Woodward’s work at Manchester United and criticised the fans who misbehaved during Wednesday’s derby at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City lost 1-0 to their bitter rivals but still advanced to the EFL Cup final thanks a 3-2 aggregate victory.

Videos circulated on social media during the game appeared to show City fans making plane gestures – in reference to the Munich air disaster – towards the United supporters, who reportedly ripped out and threw seats.

City boss Guardiola condemned the actions along with the individuals involved in Tuesday’s attack on the home of United executive vice-chairman Woodward.

“I don’t like it,” Guardiola said. “I don’t like what happened with Ed Woodward at home. You see the squad for United, it’s really good. Honestly, it’s really good.

“So that is not the way to do that. When you talk about what happened [City fans making plane gestures], I didn’t know it. If it would happen, that is not nice. Absolutely not.”

Nemanja Matic’s first-half goal split the teams in the second leg of their semi-final tie, though a wasteful City always appeared destined to go through after securing a 3-1 advantage in the first encounter.

United’s win was their second in as many months at the Etihad Stadium and Guardiola suggested opposite number Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had the Red Devils headed in the right direction.

“I like a lot the way they played. I said when we lost here [in December], they don’t need much. The quality of the players up front is incredible,” the Catalan said.

“When we lost at home against them, I had the feeling they are trying to do what the manager Ole wants and I think it works. Maybe they are not consistent in all the games, maybe at home they are struggling a little bit against teams that defend deep. But I like the way they play, their qualities.

“[Victor] Lindelof, I saw it in Benfica, is an incredible player, [Harry] Maguire is one of the best central defenders in the world. The people up front, they are so fast. Matic and Fred, they’re incredible players. Matic is an outstanding player.

“I think if you give them time, they will come back to what United was for many, many years.”

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