Pep Guardiola says he is ‘on Jose Mourinho’s side’, backs ‘tough man’ to bounce back from Manchester United axe

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has expressed his sympathy for Jose Mourinho over his Manchester United sacking.

Despite their long standing rivalry, Guardiola offered his support to Mourinho after he was axed by United on Tuesday and backed the Portuguese to return to the top level of football management.

GettyImages 1060205378 - Pep Guardiola says he is ‘on Jose Mourinho’s side’, backs ‘tough man’ to bounce back from Manchester United axe
Pep Guardiola says he has sympathy for Jose Mourinho after his Manchester United sacking

He said: “I am on his side, the managers – we are alone. They contract us to try to win, when we don’t win I know what happens.

“I know exactly what they can feel. Always I am there because we feel very alone, all the pressure is on our shoulders.

“He has a lot of experience, he is a tough man, he is coming back soon and we are going to play again.”

Guardiola was speaking after his City side squeezed into the last four of the Carabao Cup at Leicester on Tuesday.

City won 3-1 on penalties following a 1-1 draw at the King Power Stadium to stay in the hunt for a quadruple this season as Oleksandr Zincheko scored the decisive spot-kick after Arijanet Muric saved from James Maddison and Caglar Soyuncu.

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Manchester City celebrate their shootout success

Christian Fuchs missed for Leicester and Raheem Sterling was embarrassed after he chipped his spot-kick over, although Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan scored for City.

Kevin De Bruyne opened the scoring in the first half only for Marc Albrighton’s 73rd-minute leveller to send it to penalties.

Guardiola said: “We got to the final last season and won so we played to win the game. It was quite similar to last season. The end was the same and last season Claudio (Bravo) was exceptional and this year it was Arijanet.

“I don’t know how the legs will be sustained for the rest of the season but it’s better to be in the semi final than to be out.

“Aro is so big, his reaction is so quick and he took the right decisions. It’s good experience for him. He is a young guy, he is so shy, it’s a nice moment. He deserve the big applause.”

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