Football: Pep Guardiola expects repeat game plan from Manchester United in League Cup

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola did not feel his team did a lot wrong despite losing 2-1 in last month's Premier League derby.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola did not feel his team did a lot wrong despite losing 2-1 in last month's Premier League derby.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola expects a repeat game plan from Manchester United in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final on Tuesday (Jan 7).

United produced an exhilarating display of counter-attacking football to beat Guardiola's side 2-1 in last month's Premier League derby at the Etihad Stadium.

They meet again in the first leg of their semi-final at Old Trafford this week and City boss Guardiola feels he knows what to expect.

"It will be quite similar," said Guardiola. "Of course at Old Trafford it will be quite different to here but they are a team that are built to run.

"When they can run they are one of the best teams, and not just in England, I would say, because of the pace they have - (Daniel) James, (Mason) Greenwood, (Anthony) Martial, (Marcus) Rashford and (Jesse) Lingard.

"I have the feeling they are going to run, one or two or three times, or as many times as possible, and we have to reduce the mistakes in the build-up. We have to be prepared for that but we have to do our game."

United tore City's defence apart on numerous occasions on December 7 and could have had much more to show for their efforts than first-half goals from Rashford and Martial.

Nicolas Otamendi pulled one back late on but United held on to inflict a defeat that dealt another blow to City's faltering Premier League title challenge.

 
 
 

Despite United's win, City dominated in terms of possession and opportunities created and Guardiola did not feel his team did a lot wrong.

Guardiola said: "I am not going to prepare our game just thinking, 'don't let them run'.

"We have to go there and try to score a goal, play our game and try to get a good result from there.

"Except the first minutes when we conceded three or four times when they could run, the rest of the game I liked a lot the game we played and the chances we created in many situations.

"I would like to play quite similar."