News Live Scores
Manchester United v Manchester City

'Know the value of Solskjaer' - Guardiola backs Man Utd boss & highlights Martial's PSG misses

10:33 PM GMT+8 11/12/2020
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Pep Guardiola Manchester United Manchester City 2019-20
The Manchester City manager takes his side to Old Trafford on Saturday and claims the Norwegian is "strong enough" to deal with the recent criticisms

Pep Guardiola has offered his backing to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ahead of the Manchester derby on Saturday after the Red Devils' exit from the Champions League.

United were knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage on Tuesday after the defeat to RB Leipzig, with the Norwegian's position again being called into question as a result.

The Red Devils have made a better start in the Premier League than last season and currently sit a point and a place above Manchester City in the table, with Guardiola saying his opposite number doesn't need any advice from him.

"That’s why we get a high salary, to deal with these situations," Guardiola joked when asked about the rollercoaster life of being a football manager.

"The important thing is to know the value of Solskjaer, there is no doubt about this. I don’t have to give him support because he is strong enough, he knows how it works in this job.

"When we win we are a genius and when we lose you have to be sacked. It happens at United and all the clubs around the world, it is a reality."

City's progress to the last 16 was far smoother as they reached the knockout stages for an eighth consecutive year by topping Group C.

But after failing to get beyond the quarter-finals since he took over at City, Guardiola says success and failure in Europe can be defined by small margins.

"What is not going to change is the margin to be in the next round or to be out in the group stages, it's so minimal," he added.

"With a 1-1 against PSG, Martial has two clear chances and he misses, and Leipzig was 3-3 and they win 4-3 in the 94th minute and that’s why they have the chance to win the last game.

"Even in the last minute it could have been 3-3 and it would have been about the spirit and character of United. But this is the Champions League.

"We have to accept it. The margin at this level is so high so big teams can be out. That’s why always when we win one game in the group stage I congratulate the players because it is so difficult.

"The Premier League is the same. Every time we are able to do it is a big compliment. In the process every time we win we think about the next game. This is the way we have to live our profession."

Guardiola has defender Eric Garcia missing through injury for the trip to Old Trafford but reiterated that Sergio Aguero will not be fit enough to start as he continues his come back from injury.

There will be no fans at the stadium for the first time in a Manchester derby with the city still in the toughest Covid-19 restrictions. The City boss added on the topic: "Of course it's much better playing with fans but the virus is still here.

"When, step-by-step, we open the stadiums as has already happened in some areas of England - in Manchester not yet - the Premier League, government and scientists decide we can make the next step, we will do it and when everything is settled, the fans will be back.

"The supporters are so loyal and with social media today everyone has opinions. The club has to take the decisions they have to take."