Pep Guardiola responds to Bernardo Silva’s ‘unacceptable’ derby performance claim

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has moved to refute Bernardo Silva’s claims that the club’s display in their meeting with Man United earlier today was not of an acceptable level.

United secure bragging rights

The Citizens visited Old Trafford this evening, for a crunch Premier League derby clash.

City headed into proceedings amid a fine spell of form of late, which had seen Guardiola’s men put Real Madrid to the sword by 2 goals to 1 at the Bernabeu, before clinching the League Cup title.

When all was said and done in Manchester this evening, however, the Sky Blues were brought back down to earth with a thud.

A below-strength City XI, missing the likes of Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte, David Silva and, most notably, Kevin De Bruyne, was eventually downed by 2 goals to nil.

Anthony Martial opened the scoring for the hosts with half an hour on the clock, before substitute Scott McTominay made sure of United’s 3 points from long-range deep into injury-time.

Highlights: Man United 2-0 Man City

‘Don’t agree’

City, all told, were some way short of their brilliant best over the course of the 90 minutes at Old Trafford today, and few would argue against the suggestion that Manchester United were fully deserving of their victory.

As such, heavy criticism has inevitably been aimed in the direction of the soon-to-be dethroned Premier League champions on the back of their derby display, some of which has actually come courtesy of their own stars.

Speaking in the aftermath of his side’s defeat, Bernardo Silva, who was hooked after an hour, labelled City’s performance ‘not acceptable’:

‘It was a bad game for us. Not acceptable. We didn’t start badly and were playing quite well until we conceded.’

‘We know how good the Manchester United players are on the counter-attack, very aggressive. So our performance was not acceptable.’

One individual who does not at all agree with Silva’s assessment of the Sky Blues’ showing today, however, is Pep Guardiola.

When drawn on the scathing words of his midfield star during a post-match press conference, the City boss was quick to defend his players, explaining:

‘Unacceptable? I don’t agree with Bernardo.’

‘Over 90 minutes we played really well. In the first half we need to be a little bit more aggressive in the final third.. [Ilkay] Gundo[gan] and Bernardo needed more aggression in their position but in the second half we did it a little bit better.’

‘In general we played well and congratulations United on the victory.’

Quotes via the Manchester Evening News

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