Shots Fired As Pep Guardiola Calls Man United A 'Long Ball Team'

The Manchester mind games derby gets underway

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It's early days, but this Premier League season is already shaping up to be one long Manchester derby with United and City locked at the top of the table on 16 points each.

The extra spice in the sauce is the rivalry between Jose Mourniho and Pep Guardiola, two managers battling to go down in history as the greatest of their era, with differing philosophies and plenty of 'previous' from their time in Spain.

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All of which means, of course, we're due some 'mind games'.

While being interviewed by Gary Lineker for the BBC this week, Pep – not Jose – took the first shot.

Describing his rival's side, he said: "United play long ball, second ball up to Fellaini, Pogba, when they have the quality to play.

"But I have a lot of respect for my neighbours."

More of a cheeky dink than a screamer, sure, but being characterised as hoofers by the grand priest of tika taka will surely rile Mourinho.

While he has more trophies than his younger rival, Guardiola has always been considered the superior footballing stylist of the pair, the man who 'plays the game the right way' (i.e. with lots of pretty diagonal passing).

Brace yourself for Round 2 of the Manchester Mind Games Derby the next time Mourinho is anywhere near a microphone, or if you're more of a 'let's settle this where is counts' kind of a fan, on 9 December when they meet at Old Trafford.