Pep defends City celebrations after derby win

AFP
In the ugly scenes following the derby, Mourinho reportedly had milk and water thrown at him and City assistant coach Mikel Arteta sustained a cut to his head.
AFP
Reuters

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola reacts on the sidelines during the English Premier League match against Manchester United at Old Trafford, Manchester, on December 10, 2017. City won 2-1.

Pep Guardiola has defended Manchester City’s celebrations after the English Premier League leader beat fierce rival Manchester United at Old Trafford, saying they were “definitely not” over the top.

United boss Jose Mourinho was unhappy with City’s reaction after its 2-1 win on Sunday and made his feelings known outside the visitors’ dressing room on the way to his post-match interviews.

In the ugly scenes following the game, Mourinho reportedly had milk and water thrown at him and City assistant coach Mikel Arteta sustained a cut to his head.

City and United are holding internal investigations and have until 1800 GMT on Wednesday to present their accounts to the Football Association.

The governing body will then determine whether there is enough evidence to pursue charges against specific individuals and/or the clubs themselves.

Guardiola admitted he encouraged his players to celebrate but said they were not extravagant, adding they were confined to the visitors’ dressing room.

“I encouraged the players to celebrate... but of course inside the locker room,” he said.

“We have huge respect for our opponents, not just for Manchester United, all the opponents. Football and life is not about when we lose, (then) you have to accept the defeat.”

Guardiola was asked if there was anything extravagant about City’s celebrations that might have provoked a reaction from United but he replied: “No, definitely not. Believe me, definitely not.

“It was the same as the Southampton game. It was 96 minutes and something like that but we were ready. We were happy. Believe me, we were happy.

“We won a derby against Manchester United. At that the moment the biggest rival we have to win it. So people expect we are not going to celebrate? No, we celebrate.”

“And after what happened, happened,” he added. “Hopefully it cannot not happen again. What happened, we make the statement to the FA investigation and they are going to decide.”

City’s win took it 11 points clear of United, its nearest challenger at the top of the table.

Victory away to Swansea City on Wednesday would give it a record 15th consecutive EPL win.

Lack of 'education'

Mourinho, meanwhile, has accused City players of a lack of “education” over their celebrations at Old Trafford.

The United boss was reluctant to speak about the confrontation outside the dressing rooms that followed the match.

Reacting to Guardiola’s claim that his players did not overdo their celebrations, Mourinho told reporters: “He says, he says. He says, he says. I am not here to comment on his words.

“The only thing I can say is that for me, it was just a question of diversity. Diversity in behavior, diversity in education. Just that. And nothing more than that.”

The United manager attempted to divert several questions about the row, insisting that he wanted to focus on Wednesday’s home match against Bournemouth.

“This press conference is pre-Bournemouth, it is not post-Manchester City,” he said. “That was already done.”

He admitted that United was keen to make up for Sunday’s defeat, which ended a 40-match unbeaten run on its own ground. “When you lose, you probably have a little bit more desire to win,” he said. “Nobody likes to lose once, nobody wants to lose twice.”

But he was adamant that the motivation was only based on wanting to avenge a defeat, and not because it was against City. 

“We lost against Chelsea and in the next match we had a little bit extra to try to win. Chelsea lost at the weekend, for sure they are going to have in the next match a little bit more to give. I think it’s something that every club in the world has.”

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