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Guardiola slams former United stars over Man City criticism

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. ©AFP

London (AFP) - Pep Guardiola has hit back at former Manchester United stars Patrice Evra and Dimitar Berbatov for criticising the character of his Manchester City side after their painful Champions League exit.

Guardiola was infuriated by comments from the two players after City's defeat over two legs against Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the competition.

City conceded twice in the final minutes and eventually lost 6-5 on aggregate after the tie went to extra-time.

Evra said Guardiola's side lacked personality and leaders, while Berbatov questioned their concentration and focus.

City have responded in devastating fashion by scoring 10 goals in two games to move to the brink of a 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 outplayed United in the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals.

Both Evra and Berbatov featured for United in 2009, while Evra was in the side that lost again two years later.

"Special former players like Berbatov, Seedorf and Evra, and these types of people, weren't 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 cannot have personality because you concede two goals in one minute after you have had chances to score?

"Sometimes, football is like this and it just happens.We cannot control many things but when you always arrive in the last stages for four or five years, this is incredible.

"We have incredible personality.I'm sorry but I completely disagree.Personality is what we have done in the last five years, every three days, in all competitions."

Guardiola's men can silence their critics by retaining the Premier League title over the coming week.

City need four points from their last two games, at West Ham on Sunday and at home to Aston Villa on May 22, to be certain of pipping Liverpool to the trophy.

Guardiola said his side have no margin for error because he believes Liverpool will win their final two matches.

"Everybody knows with winning at West Ham and it will be almost done, with the goal difference and many things," he said."It's absolutely a final."

Guardiola hopes injured trio Aymeric Laporte, Fernandinho and Nathan Ake can feature against West Ham.

"They are in treatment for these two days and we will see," said Guardiola, whose defence has been severely weakened by injuries to Ruben Dias, John Stones and Kyle Walker.

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Dive Deeper:
Pep Guardiola taunts former Manchester United players after Man City criticism
Pep Guardiola was not impressed with Manchester City's character being questioned after their Champions League exit
Pep Guardiola: Patrice Evra and Dimitar Berbatov were destroyed by my Barca team
Pep Guardiola has hit back at two former Manchester United players for criticising the character of his Manchester City side.
Pep Guardiola hits back at former Manchester United duo: ‘We destroyed you in the Champions League final’
Pep Guardiola has hit back at two former Manchester United players for criticising the character of his Manchester City side.
Pep Guardiola roars back at Patrice Evra & Dimitar Berbatov - ‘we destroyed them in the Champions League final’
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has fired back at former Manchester United stars Dimitar Berbatov and Patrice Evra.
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Pep Guardiola takes aim at Manchester United pair for Champions League exit criticism
Guardiola tells Patrice Evra and Dimitar Berbatov that his Barcelona ‘destroyed’ United in 2011 final
'Answer is easy' - Pep Guardiola namechecks Liverpool during Patrice Evra rant
Pep Guardiola has spoke out after Manchester City were criticised for crashing out of the Champions League
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