Guardiola opens up on Manchester Derby tunnel fight

Jose Mourinho hit by bottle as players swing punches in 20-man brawl in tunnel

BITTER Manchester rivals United and City are still at war after their Old Trafford tunnel bust-up.

The Football Association has given the clubs until Wednesday to reply to a request for observations into an incident the United boss was initially reluctant to speak about in a terse, truncated press conference.

City boss Guardiola has taken part responsibility for the incident after revealing that he encouraged his players to celebrate in the manner they did in the dressing room.

'People have to understand that we were happy. When we won with Bayern we were happy, with Barcelona we celebrated.

"If we were not correct than I apologise to all of Manchester United". Our intentions was not that. "It was to celebrate inside the locker room".

Guardiola also said he is considering trying to sign a central defender during January.

Latest chapter in a book of grievances?

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"They don't do that now because Jose Mourinho plays so defensive". "He is younger than me, but I'm not exhausted", the Portuguese added.

Both took up their current roles in summer 2016 and their teams met three times last season with City winning at Old Trafford in the league in September, United taking revenge at home in the League Cup and a goalless draw at the Etihad in April.

United had eight shots to City's 14 and managed just 35 per cent of the possession, but Mourinho was left angry at the way his side conceded twice after failing to clear their lines from set-pieces.

Before Sunday's meeting, the Portuguese suggested that City's players were prone to diving and tactical fouls to gain an advantage.

Guardiola does not believe his team's celebrations were disrespectful in the aftermath of their victory.

"I would rather watch City play than United", Van Gaal told the Mirror.

Punches were thrown - but none connected - and there was plenty of shoving and pushing and elbowing.

"We are aware of how hard and complicated the game is going to be, being a derby. We celebrate in the right moments, for example we celebrated in Napoli, you have to do that, but inside [the locker room]". "We have huge respect for our opponents - not just Manchester United, all the opponents". "It's always important to keep a distance with our direct opponents, but we are going to keep working no matter what, focused on our job and try to win there". I encourage them to celebrate in the locker room.

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