Soccer

Guardiola denies City celebrations were disrespectful

Cape Town – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has denied claims that his side's celebrations that led to a mass brawl with rival Manchester United players were disrespectful.

Speaking to journalists Guardiola denied that his players' celebrations after defeating Manchester United in a 2-1 win at Old Trafford in a top-of-the-table clash were over the top.

'I am the guy who encouraged them to celebrate between each other. And that is what we did.

"I think the game was on a nice stage. The managers before, during and after was what they had to do. Everybody fought to win the game.

"After the players shook hands, no problem, some celebrated with the fans like normal. Then we went to the locker room. We have huge respect to our opponents, not just United. When we lose we have to accept the defeat and when we win then celebrate.

"We celebrated in Napoli – you have to do that. I encourage them and it is what we did. What happened hopefully won’t happen again."

One of the Spaniard's assistant coaches Mikel Arteta was left with blood streaming down his face after a bust-up involving up to 20 players and members of staff following the Manchester derby.

Media reports on Sunday said Jose Mourinho became involved in a physical confrontation with City's players after complaining about their celebrations following the win.

Britain's Guardian newspaper reported that Arteta's eyebrow was split open during the melee in a narrow corridor outside City's dressing room and there were unconfirmed reports that another member of Guardiola's backroom staff needed medical treatment.

The corridor leading to the dressing rooms apparently became congested as players and staff made their way through it after the game, and tensions spilled over into pushing and shoving, with Arteta understood to have suffered a cut to the head.

Mourinho reportedly became involved in a row with City goalkeeper Ederson and United striker Romelu Lukaku was said to be involved.

Earlier reports in the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph said Mourinho had water and milk thrown at him by City's players and was hit on the head with a plastic bottle.

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