Pep Guardiola hits back at Patrice Evra, Manchester City, Manchester United


Pep Guardiola has hit back at former Manchester United stars Patrice Evra and Dimitar Berbatov for criticizing the character of his Manchester City side following their painful Champions League exit.

Guardiola was infuriated by comments from both players following City’s two-game loss to Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the competition.

City conceded twice in the final minutes and eventually lost 6-5 on aggregate after the tie went into extra time.

Evra said Guardiola’s team lacked personality and leaders, while Berbatov questioned their focus and concentration.

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City responded devastatingly, scoring 10 goals in two games to come close to a fourth Premier League title in five seasons.

Guardiola, who was also frustrated by recent criticism from former Real Madrid midfielder Clarence Seedorf, was scathing in his response to doubters.

For ammunition, the City boss referred to his Barcelona side, who dominated United in the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals.

Evra and Berbatov played for United in 2009, while Evra was in the team that lost again two years later.

“The former special players like Berbatov, Seedorf and Evra, and those kind of people, weren’t there,” Guardiola said on Friday.

“I played against them and didn’t see that kind of personality when we destroyed United in the Champions League final.

“You can’t have personality because you concede two goals in one minute after having chances to score?

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“Sometimes football is like that and it happens. You can’t control a lot of things but when you always come to the last stages for four or five years, it’s unbelievable.

“We have an incredible personality. I’m sorry but I completely disagree. Personality is what we’ve done for the last five years, every three days, in all competitions.

Guardiola’s men can silence their critics by retaining the Premier League title over the coming week.

City need four points from their last two games, at West Ham on Sunday and at home to Aston Villa on May 22, to be certain of propelling Liverpool to the trophy.

Guardiola said his side had no margin for error as he believed Liverpool would win their last two games.

“Everyone knows that with the win at West Ham and it will almost be done, with the goal difference and many other things,” he said. “It’s absolutely a final.”

Guardiola hopes injured trio Aymeric Laporte, Fernandinho and Nathan Ake can play against West Ham.

“They’ve been in treatment for these two days and we’ll see,” said Guardiola, whose defense was severely weakened by injuries to Ruben Dias, John Stones and Kyle Walker.


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