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“Exceptional” – Pep Guardiola heaps praise on Manchester United star ahead of derby



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is not taking the upcoming clash against Manchester United lightly and has heaped praise on one of Erik ten Hag’s men.

The Reds have not had the best start to the season and currently sit eighth in the Premier League table.

Meanwhile, in the Champions League, goalkeeper Andre Onana saved a last-minute penalty to ensure United won all three points against Copenhagen.

The win was crucial following back-to-back losses against Bayern Munich and Galatasaray in the first two group games.

Onana’s heroics came at the perfect time for the shot-stopper, who has had a difficult start to life at Old Trafford so far.

He came from Inter Milan and was brought in for his excellent ball-playing abilities but United have been unable to control games in the way that Ten Hag would’ve expected ahead of the season.

Despite there being widespread criticism of Onana recently, City manager Guardiola singled him out for praise during his pre-match press conference ahead of the Manchester derby.

“I remember we have a common friend who spoke very highly of him but personally I met him in Amsterdam. He’s an exceptional player and now at United,” said Guardiola.

“Everyone needs time [to adapt to Premier League football], not just the managers but players, keepers. Everyone. Sometimes people are quicker but I have a high opinion of him as a keeper.

Guardiola’s men came out on top against Onana and Inter in the Champions League final last term. Despite this, the Cameroon goalkeeper had a fine display, cutting City’s press open on many occasions during the game.

“Hopefully not,” replied Ten Hag when asked if he thinks United’s no.24 will have a similar performance. “Hopefully we can beat him, but before the game, I always expect the best of the players we are going to face.

“I prefer to see the strengths than the weaknesses they have. He saved a pen in the last minute which helped them to stay in contention to qualify for the last 16 [of the Champions League]. Mentally it’s a good boost for them.”