Pep Guardiola generally avoids lavishing praise on his Manchester City team, preferring to keep them hungry for more. However, the Blues manager said that they were at “our best” in the second half when they annihilated a Manchester United team that had threatened to make a fight of the derby in a competitive first half.
City won the first half 2-1 thanks to two goals from Kevin De Bruyne, but they turned up the heat after the interval, adding two more from Riyad Mahrez, and might have had a hat trick as they repeatedly tore the Reds apart. Guardiola acknowledged that his team was at its best in the second 45 minutes.
“I don’t know what we have to do if the second half isn’t our best,” he remarked. “I am extremely demanding, but I know my limits and the limits of the players, and the second half in terms of dedication and everything, the display was everything.” It’s Manchester United.”
United had entered the game as clear underdogs and threatened to upset the apple cart when Jadon Sancho equalized De Bruyne’s opening. Guardiola, who was ecstatic in his technical area in the first half, was enraged.
“We fought to produce a better build-up, to get it inside their half,” he explained. “In the first half, we scored some counter-attacking goals. They performed admirably. We felt in command of the game from the opening minute of the second half.”