Mourinho shies away from personal rivalry with Guardiola entering Manchester derby

Marouane Fellaini's sending off late in the second half robs Manchester United of another body as the Premier League enters the stretch run. Blessed with an eye for goal and phenomenal speed, City clearly have a real player on their hands and it's frightening to think what levels his form could reach next season after having a year to settle in England.

"I'm sure Pep Guardiola has learned more this year, than in any other year of his management", Lampard told Drivetime on talkSPORT. However, eight clubs have won more often at home this season. United lacked ambition going forward and retreated deeper and deeper as the game went on but, in Eric Bailly, Mourinho had a commanding figure in central defence. We played to win the game.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah, a late substitute against City, could also be ruled out after Mourinho revealed the Dutchman had picked up an injury in the closing stages. "I think the boys that are available have a great feeling, you know", said the manager.

Mourinho was pleased with United's first-half display despite the absence of players including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Marcos Rojo, but acknowledged they had to play for a point as their attacking threat dwindled. United are not a fun team to watch right now but they're grinding out results until Mourinho can find a long-term solution to have them back among the elite.

He might just have the edge this time round, with United having finally reeled in the top four after a 23-match unbeaten run in the league dating back to a 4-0 loss at Chelsea on October 23. I am 31 years of age but I've played a lot of games.

The world's most expensive footballer sustained a muscle injury in the 2-0 win at Burnley last weekend and will not be available at the Etihad Stadium, along with defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, whom Manchester United boss Mourinho on Sunday implored to "be brave" with their injuries. You want to stay in the team and to do that I have to perform well and score goals.

They shouldn't expect the same niceties from the general public in Manchester for much longer if trophies and title challenges don't materialize.

  • Julie Sanders