Guardiola: Man City were incredible – but the tie is not over

Omnisport
Manchester City seized control of the EFL Cup semi-final tie with Manchester United, but Pep Guardiola does not think the contest is over.
Manchester City seized control of the EFL Cup semi-final tie with Manchester United, but Pep Guardiola does not think the contest is over.

Pep Guardiola insists the EFL Cup semi-final has not been settled despite Manchester City's dominant 3-1 win over Manchester United on Tuesday.

City raced into a 3-0 lead by half-time at Old Trafford, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and an Andreas Pereira own goal doing the damage against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

United were simply unable to handle City in the first half as the visitors sprung a surprise by playing without a recognised centre-forward, although they did improve after bringing Nemanja Matic on at half-time and Marcus Rashford's goal offered a glimmer of hope for the tie.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

Solskjaer pointed to last season's second-leg win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last 16 as proof his side cannot be written off, and Guardiola is not prepared to consider the Red Devils incapable of a similar comeback.

"The first minutes were tight, they had one or two counter-attacks, but the first shot or second shot was an outstanding goal from Bernardo," the City manager told Sky Sports.

"After, we played really good, with a lot of passes, arriving from behind. In the second half, they changed the shape, the diamond 4-4-2 and we struggled a little bit more to keep the ball.

"But yeah, a good result. It's not over, because it's United, and we see how many times, last season was a good example against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. They are able to score goals.

"Hopefully, with our fans, we can make a good game and reach the final again."

Guardiola said he set up his side to avoid the kind of counter-attacking damage United did in their 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League last month.

"It's always difficult to control Rashford and all the people in front because they are so fast, and that was the main target today, with a lot of passes. We feel comfortable with the ball and we did it," he said.

Guardiola also bristled at the suggestion City invited United back into the contest by relaxing too much after half-time.

"Always we have to accept the result. We played against United – what do you expect? One, zero-seven here, or what?" he added.

"They played good, they changed their situation and we could not control quite as well, especially [Mason] Greenwood between the lines, we struggled a little bit with that, but in general it was an incredible performance.

"We played at Old Trafford, against our rivals, in a semi-final, and it was a fantastic result for us."

What to read next