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Pep Guardiola’s honest confession after stunning Manchester derby defeat

United struck twice in the space of four minutes late on to snatch a dramatic and controversial 2-1 derby win over Manchester City.

Bruno Fernandes scored for Manchester United© Getty Images

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola made some honest comments after his side were stunned by two late Manchester United goals to lose a trilling derby at Old Trafford.

United struck twice in the space of four minutes late on to snatch a dramatic and controversial 2-1 derby win over Manchester City on Saturday.

Jack Grealish looked to have headed City to a crucial victory in their pursuit of Arsenal at the top of the Premier League when he came off the bench to head home on the hour at Old Trafford.

But United responded to claim a hotly-contested equaliser through Bruno Fernandes after Marcus Rashford was deemed by VAR not to be interfering with play despite racing towards the ball from an offside position.

City reacted furiously and failed to regroup after play restarted, allowing Rashford to poke home a winner from an Alejandro Garnacho cross eight minutes from time.

It was Rashford’s eighth goal in his last seven appearances and lifted United to within a point of title-chasing City, whose recent indifferent spell after their midweek Carabao Cup exit continued.

The result means Arsenal can now move eight points clear at the summit if they win their own derby contest against Tottenham on Sunday.

"I don’t care in the Premier League and Carabao Cup, we cannot win,” admitted Guardiola, as he appeared to concede the Premier League title.

"We won a lot. It’s not a problem. Carabao Cup is out, it doesn’t matter.

"The game was really good. We played good. They are incredible in transitions. Congratulations to the team. I'm proud to come here and play with this personality. They punished us in transitions.

"Congratulations to United. It was a fantastic game. We controlled the transitions better in the second half against Rashford and their fast players.

"We had the right spirit to do it. We were close and we have to improve when we concede the goal, be more stable, the gap between the first and second goal is too close.

"In general I have no regrets. I don't care when a team performs how we play. It was quite similar to the many, many years we've been here.

"There are plenty of points to play for and we have to play there. In every game we have to perform. We always play in these sort of games and in others we struggle a little bit."

Rashford appeared to be off-side in the build-up to United’s equaliser, with Guardiola convinced the goal should not have stood.

"Marcus Rashford is offside, Bruno Fernandes is not,” he said.

"Rashford distracted our keeper and centre defenders. It is what it is. We know where we play. It is difficult for the referees in these stadiums.”

United manager Erik ten Hag toasted his biggest win yet with celebrations on the touchline, as he declared conficence has returned to the club after a challenging few years.

"The belief is back and we're in a good direction,” said Ten Hag.

"You have to work out of possession against City. They have qualities in split-moments to score goals. We saw that today. One mistake and they scored."

"The first half we played very well. We defended very well and broke in good opportunities. We were really happy at half-time.

"After half-time we had to sub Martial, he had some complaints, and the game changed. City came in, we were not proactive. They scored. The spirit of the team is so huge, the belief is there that the game is 90 minutes and we can fight back.

"I’m really happy with the performance of the team."

United are not just one point behind City and may be eyeing up their first Premier League title challenge since their last triumph a decade ago.

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