Published: Fri, April 28, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Manchester City vs. Manchester United in Premier League

Manchester City vs. Manchester United in Premier League

"It's not out of the context that the last two champions - I include Chelsea now and Leicester last season - didn't play in Europe and that three years ago Liverpool were nearly champions without playing European competition". Manchester City contacted my agent, Barcelona as well were talking to my agent, but they weren't as interested in me as Mourinho.

"Of course the club is important when you sign, but the manager is so important".

"We would have loved to come here and won the game and we thought we could catch City on the break". Instead, he picked up the injury right at the end of the game. However, United have also recently suffered from the dreaded extra-time. The result could make a big difference to either sides' prospects but Guardiola is not ruling out further twists and turns elsewhere.

But in the main, Thursday's drab derby served to illustrate why the Manchester rivals are scrapping over fourth place rather than fighting for the title.

By becoming only the second team, after Stoke, to stop City from scoring at home this season, United extended its unbeaten run in the league to 24 games dating to October and a loss at Chelsea.

Mourinho's men recorded just 30.8 percent possession on Thursday, their lowest total since Opta started recording that metric in 2003.

Indeed, there's incredibly little to choose between both sides that this moment in time, so which City stars would actually improve United is a rather interesting debate.

Jose Mourinho felt Sergio Aguero's reaction to a clash of heads with Marouane Fellaini played a role in the Manchester United midfielder's red card.

"It depends on the way we want to play. It is very hard for us but the character is awesome and I'm very proud of the boys".

The world's most expensive footballer sustained a muscle injury in the 2-0 win at Burnley last weekend and will not be available at the Etihad Stadium, along with defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, whom Manchester United boss Mourinho on Sunday implored to "be brave" with their injuries. He couldn't shout too much because Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been their talisman.

Guardiola and Mourinho leave close to each other and this week Guardiola revealed the duo say hello and share pleasantries when they meet on the street.

"We want to play Champions League football and we still have two doors open".

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