Guardiola's Man City could match Barcelona - Rooney

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Manchester United's all-time record goalscorer grudgingly admits that he enjoys watching the Red Devils' arch-rivals under their current manager

Wayne Rooney believes Manchester United will struggle to catch Manchester City this season.

Pep Guardiola's City are firmly in control of the Premier League title race, holding a 13-point advantage over United despite drawing 1-1 at Burnley on Saturday.

Rooney played as United were beaten by Guardiola's great Barcelona side in the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals – scoring in the latter defeat at Wembley – and he grudgingly concedes his old rivals are a pleasure to watch.

"In terms of catching Manchester City, certainly not this season and, if I'm honest, next season it will be very difficult," he told Sky Sports' Monday Night Football programme when assessing United's prospects in the Manchester rivalry.

"It's not nice to say but if you can't enjoy that style of play you won't enjoy football. It's great to watch, the movement, the confidence on the ball, the goalkeeper [Ederson]. It's almost perfect football at times.

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"I think Guardiola is putting the foundations in place of trying to emulate that Barcelona team and you can see they're certainly on the way to doing that.

"Maybe in the summer, if they bring one or two players in, they're not that far off. Obviously they have to win the trophies."

City face Arsenal in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on February 25 and are into the last 16 of both the Champions League and the FA Cup.

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