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Pep Guardiola responds to Sir Jim Ratcliffe praise ahead of Manchester Derby



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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has responded to Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s praise of his side ahead of their clash with Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.

United will face their neighbours on Sunday afternoon at 3:30 pm (UK time) and it will be the first Manchester Derby since Sir Jim Ratcliffe became co-owner at the club.

Ratcliffe, 71, has had several interviews since he took the reigns at Old Trafford. The British billionaire has assured that the aim is to knock City and Liverpool off the top of the tree, but understands that the two clubs are in much better positions than United right now.

In fact, the new United owner has admitted that Manchester City’s performance in the semi-final of the Champions League last term was the “best football” he’s ever seen.

“When Manchester City played Real Madrid at home in the second-leg last season, that was the best football I’ve ever seen,” he explained. “That first 45 minutes where Real Madrid couldn’t get the ball was the best quality football I’ve ever seen. If we can ever get to that point, then that will be a great achievement for Manchester United.”

Speaking in his pre-match press conference for the clash, Guardiola has responded to the United co-owner’s comments.

“It is [a compliment] – and I just can say: ‘Thank you so much,’” said the City manager.

“Sometimes it is much more than a title when the compliments of personalities that make this country. Sir Jim Ratcliffe made those comments and it is completely an honour for all of us.

“At the end, football can produce emotions and feelings for the players and when our rivals accept this it helps us so much to do our job. So thank you so much. I say that on behalf of all of us.

“But I am sure tomorrow they will try to inoculate the United players with the best performance they can to try and beat us.”