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Pep Guardiola made it clear that Manchester City does not support the actions of two banned fans who chanted offensive remarks in regards to the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton. He stated that these individuals do not reflect the values of the team.
A video circulated on social media showing two minors chanting about Charlton during City’s game against Brighton last weekend, shortly after the news of Manchester United’s legend’s passing was made public.
The City team quickly condemned the offensive chanting and deemed it “disgusting” before the upcoming Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Sunday. United will also honor Charlton with a minute of applause before the game begins.
Guardiola is optimistic that the fans who are travelling will behave in a respectful manner. He also criticized the actions of the two fans who have been banned from attending both home and away City matches.
Guardiola stated that “They do not represent us.” He also added that alcohol can lead to negative behavior in individuals. In contrast, Mike Summerbee, a City ambassador, showed support by signing the book of condolence for Charlton at Old Trafford, representing the team.
“We hold Manchester United in high regard, particularly the legendary Sir Bobby Charlton. We stand with Man United and the English football community in offering our condolences.”
This upcoming weekend marks the first encounter between the adversaries since the previous season’s FA Cup final. In that match, Ilkay Gundogan scored twice, securing a 2-1 victory for City and adding a second trophy to their collection as they pursued the treble.
After just nine games played in the Premier League, this rivalry may not hold as much significance, but it remains a match that former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager Guardiola has consistently relished.
“When I played for Barcelona and Bayern Munich, I had the opportunity to travel to England and face United at Old Trafford. It was always a memorable experience,” he shared. “The stadium holds a special significance and it’s also a special place for our fans.”
“The teams have a strong rivalry but also mutual respect. In my eight seasons here, we have not encountered any major issues. The FA Cup final was particularly memorable as we were determined to achieve the triple win.”
“While winning or losing may have a significant impact on the outcome of the Premier League, it is not as crucial as in an FA Cup final or the last fixtures of the season.”
“There have been a total of nine matches played, leaving 87 points still available. We must maintain our focus in order to defeat them in the upcoming game.”
The team from City, who will not have defender Manuel Akanji due to suspension, won against Brighton in their last game, bouncing back from two consecutive losses to Wolves and Arsenal in the Premier League prior to the international break.
At the moment, they are in second place, trailing Tottenham. However, United, who placed third last season, have had a rough beginning to their season, with four losses in their first nine games.
City currently holds a six point lead and is six places ahead of United. However, Guardiola remains cautious after Ten Hag’s team secured a win in the same match-up last season.
“According to Guardiola, United has consistently possessed that certain sentiment, regardless of who is managing the team, making them a formidable opponent.”
“The qualities of the individuals they have, the stadium, the character they have, the momentum. They can score goals, we know the quality they have. Always that has been and always it will be.”