12 Dec Pep Guardiola defends Manchester City celebrations at Old Trafford
Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City’s celebrations after Sunday’s derby victory at Old Trafford were not excessive.
Staff and players from Manchester United are understood to have taken exception to the way City enjoyed their 2-1 success, sparking a fracas in the corridor outside the dressing rooms.
There have been reports that United boss Jose Mourinho became involved in an altercation with City goalkeeper Ederson and that milk and water were thrown at the Portuguese. City coach Mikel Arteta is also understood to have suffered a cut to the head.
Guardiola was unwilling to comment on the details of the alleged melee but was adamant his players were only celebrating inside their dressing room and were within their rights to do so.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Guardiola said: “We won a derby against Manchester United, at that the moment the biggest rival. We have to win it.
“So people expect we are not going to celebrate? No. We celebrate. When United win a derby they celebrate, when Arsenal win against Untied they celebrate. When United or Arsenal win the FA Cup they celebrate. But where? Inside the locker room. That’s what we do and we did.”
City’s players are understood to have been celebrating raucously and playing loud music but Guardiola insists that is nothing out of the ordinary. It is claimed the trouble started as Mourinho walked past the City dressing room on his way to conduct post-match interviews.
Guardiola said: “The situation at Old Trafford when you go to the home locker room you have to pass the away one, but we were inside celebrating. But that is normal, it wasn’t anything exceptional. It was what we did last season in the past and what we will do in the future.”
City won with goals from David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi, either side of a Marcus Rashford reply, and their victory took them 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League.
It was a significant win over their closest rivals and Guardiola was happy to encourage the celebrations.
The Spaniard, who takes his team to Swansea on Wednesday, said: “I encourage the players to celebrate the victories, but of course inside the locker room. We have huge respect for our opponents – not just for Manchester United, all the opponents.
“When we lose you have to accept the defeat, when we win we try to celebrate.”
City and United have been asked by the Football Association for their observations regarding the alleged commotion. They have been given until Wednesday to respond.
Guardiola said: “What happened, happened. Hopefully it cannot happen again. On what happened we will make the statement to the FA investigation and they are going to decide.”
City are bidding for a Premier League record 15th successive league win at Swansea but will be without captain Vincent Kompany, who suffered a muscular injury at Old Trafford.