In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News, Pep Guardiola also discusses the impact of Cristiano Ronaldo at United after he nearly moved to City in the summer; Watch Man Utd vs Man City live on Sky Sports Premier League from 11.30am on Saturday; kick-off 12.30am
Saturday 6 November 2021 12:41, UK
Pep Guardiola says he is not bothered by Manchester United's record in the derby because City have always been superior to their rivals in the Premier League since he became manager five years ago.
Guardiola has been beaten in three of his last four meetings with United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer heading into Saturday's league match at Old Trafford, live on Sky Sports.
But he is quick to point out that while United have shown their credentials, City have finished above United every season in the league since he arrived in 2016, winning the title three times.
"They are a good, good team and this can happen, but we don't forget the points in the last five or six years," Guardiola told Sky Sports News.
"In every single season, we were ahead of them in the Premier League.
"So you want to say, 'Okay they beat us,' it's because it can happen, and they are good.
"But when I landed here to finish after five seasons - this is the sixth - the amount of points ahead that we are if we count every single season - at the end that is what counts."
Guardiola was not short of compliments for Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of the Manchester derby.
Ronaldo - despite being 36 years of age - has not slowed down since returning to United from Juventus in the summer, scoring nine times in 11 appearances, including decisive goals in three consecutive Champions League matches.
Guardiola does not think the all-time leading scorer in men's international football will ever quench his thirst for goals, even when he hangs up his boots.
He said: "I think he has scored goals all his life and when he is 75 - maybe he will be retired - but at the barbecue, if they're playing a game, he is going to score a goal."
"These type of guys, like [Lionel] Messi, like him...", said Pep, pausing, unable to think of another player of the same calibre before continuing: "what they have done, or what Ronaldo has done in the last decade in world football, scoring goals and helping his teams to win.
"It speaks for itself."
There was a moment in the summer where Ronaldo looked like he might be headed to the Etihad to join Guardiola at City, before United - aided by Sir Alex Ferguson - swooped in to ensure the forward returned to Old Trafford 12 years after leaving for Real Madrid.
Guardiola, who was unable to sign a striker in the summer, appears to hold no grudges over the failed move.
"It's good for the Premier League him coming back," said Guardiola.
"United belongs to Cristiano. Cristiano belongs to United. It was a good fitting in the past, maybe it will be good in the present and the future."
At his pre-match news conference, Guardiola fielded questions about his squad and their trouble scoring in the league, after going two games without a goal.
To put those worries into context, City hit four goals past Club Brugge in the Champions League on Wednesday and have averaged two goals per game in the Premier League this season.
Guardiola's failure to bring in a striker in the summer has been a big talking point this season after Sergio Aguero left, but the City boss is confident his title-winning squad, plus £100m signing Jack Grealish, can achieve great things without the addition of a centre-forward.
"I am not a magician to know what is going to happen this season," said the City manager.
"If I knew I would tell you. But first I would tell my team. Just trust a bit how many goals we scored last season without a striker because unfortunately Sergio was injured all season.
"Maybe in the future Manchester City will be a proper striker, a No 9, and they will not score goals. Who knows? We are who we are, we move forward in this sense.
"I spoke many times about this argument. We wanted to do it, we could not do it, that is all. We have enough players to do it."