Pep Guardiola has hit back at former Manchester United stars Patrice Evra and Dimitar Berbatov for criticizing the character of his Manchester City side after their painful Champions League exit. Guardiola was outraged by the two players’ comments following City’s two leg defeat to Real Madrid in the competition’s semi-final. City conceded twice in the final minutes and eventually lost 6-5 on aggregate after the draw went into extra time. Evra said Guardiola’s side lacked personality and leadership, while Berbatov questioned their concentration and focus.
Man City have responded devastatingly by scoring 10 goals in two games and on their way to their fourth Premier League title in five seasons.
Guardiola, who was also frustrated by recent criticism from former Real Madrid midfielder Clarence Seedorf, was scathing in his response to the doubters.
For ammunition, the City boss referred to his Barcelona team, which defeated United in the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals.
Both Evra and Berbatov played for United in 2009, while Evra was sidelined who lost again two years later.
“Special former players like Berbatov, Seedorf and Evra and people like this were not there,” Guardiola said on Friday.
“I’ve played against them and I didn’t see this kind of personality when we destroyed United in the Champions League final.
“You can’t have personality because you concede two goals in one minute after you’ve had chances to score?
“Sometimes football is like this and it just happens. We can’t control a lot of things, but if you always get to the final stages for four or five years, this is incredible.”
“We have an incredible personality. I’m sorry, but I absolutely disagree. Personality is what we’ve been doing for the last five years, every three days, in all competitions.”
Guardiola’s men can silence their critics by retaining the Premier League title next week.
City will need four points from their last two games, at West Ham on Sunday and at home to Aston Villa on May 22, to be sure to lead Liverpool to the trophy.
Guardiola said his side has no margin for error as he believes Liverpool will win their last two games.
“Everyone knows winning at West Ham and it will be almost done, with the goal difference and a lot of things,” he said. “It’s definitely a final.”
Guardiola hopes the injured trio of Aymeric Laporte, Fernandinho and Nathan Ake can play against West Ham.
“They are pending these two days and we’ll see,” said Guardiola, whose defense has been severely weakened by injuries to Ruben Dias, John Stones and Kyle Walker.
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