Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 9 goals in 11 games since returning to Man United, including a brace against Atalanta in the Champions League on Tuesday, and Pep Guardiola has warned his players about the challenge they face on Saturday.
“I didn’t see the United match [against Atalanta], I’m going to analyse and to see what they are so I know how good they are,” said Guardiola, after watching his side overcome Club Brugge 4-1.
“We saw it last season. They have one of the best players in history, a guy who can be a scoring machine.”
Pep Guardiola: “I didn’t see [Manchester] United’s match, I’m going to analyse and to see what they are so I know how good they are. We saw it last season. They have one of the best players [Cristiano Ronaldo] of history, a guy who can be a scoring machine.” #MUFC [@sistoney67]
— MUREPORT (@MUREPORT14) November 3, 2021
Guardiola asserted in the build-up that the tie with Brugge was more important than the meeting with Man United. After PSG’s 2-2 draw with RB Leipzig, Man City are top of Group A with two games to play.
“People [were upset] for the fact I said today is more important than United and it was,” said Guardiola.
“Now, the most important game ever is United.
“The second half [against Brugge] was really good. A good game, good victory. We need one point to go through, three points to win the group.”
Manchester City have edged a step closer to the Champions League knockout stages…
Pep Guardiola’s side have gone top of the group!#bbcfootball #MCI
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 3, 2021
Guardiola has just 48 hours to prepare his players to face United with the derby scheduled for 12.30 UK on Saturday. United will have an extra day after facing Atalanta on Tuesday but Guardiola resisted the temptation to hit out at the fixture list.
“If they want us to play tomorrow, we will play tomorrow,” he said. “The schedule is the schedule. We will be at Old Trafford at 12:30 on Saturday.”
Surely an exciting Manchester Derby awaits football fans around the world and the Citizens will look to capitalize on a divided United dressing room but must be cautious since Ronaldo & Co. will have an extra day of rest ahead of the fixture.