Manchester City face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday, but Pep Guardiola says Club Brugge in the Champions League is bigger, with the City boss unwilling to look past Wednesday night’s encounter
Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City’s Champions League clash with Club Brugge is bigger than Saturday’s Manchester derby.
City walloped the Belgian champions 5-1 two weeks ago and are hot favourites to beat them again at the Etihad on Wednesday night.
But Guardiola says that match is still bigger than facing Manchester United at Old Trafford because the Blues cannot afford to slip up with just two group games remaining after this one.
“This is much more important than the United game,” said the City boss. “This game gives us an incredible step forward and chance to qualify for the Champions League last 16.
‘In the Premier League there are many games, here just six and just three left, not much and they are decisive.
“Game three and game four are the most important games.
“We have to take it seriously to make a good performance and take a step forward in qualification.”
Guardiola watched back City’s 5-1 walloping on Monday and claims they must improve defensively, despite winning so easily.
The Blues suffered a shock 2-0 home loss to Crystal Palace on Saturday and Guardiola says they must be more solid as a unit.
“I see the team doing many good things, that gives us the chance to win games,” he said. “At the same time we are still making mistakes, not individually, but collectively and we have to improve defensively.
“Sometimes the back four, or moments in our pressing or our movement in the middle, sometimes this is lower defensively, but that’s normal.
“I saw the game against Bruges yesterday and I said ‘how many bad things did we do?’, but we won 5-1 and afterwards I said how good we played, we made an incredible performance.
“Offensively we did it, but defensively we were not really good and that’s why always you have the feeling we can do better.”
Guardiola also revealed he has sent his best wishes to Sergio Aguero since he was diagnosed with a cardiac problem and has told him to enjoy life, even if he cannot play again.
Aguero left the Etihad after 10 trophy-laden years with the Blues and Guardiola wished him well.
“Yeah, I speak with his agent,” he said. “I sent a message. Of course, its difficult news for him and his family. We wish him well from all the people, our chairman, we all wish him a safe recovery.
“Health and life are more important than anything else. He’s in good hands, he has to take care of himself.
“We wish him a safe recovery and to come back if he can. Otherwise enjoy his life and what he has done. Be careful and be safe for the rest of his life.”
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