Pep Guardiola hits back at Porto manager Sergio Conceicao’s claim he pressures referees
Pep Guardiola has rejected claims from Porto manager Sergio Conceicao that he applies undue pressure on officials.
City need a draw in Portugal to guarantee qualification as winners of Group C and animosity remains from the clubs’ first meeting in October.
City came from behind to win 3-1 at the Etihad on a night that left Conceicao incensed by Guardiola’s ‘extremely unpleasant behaviour’ on the touchline.
Pep Guardiola makes his point to Sergio Conceicao during Manchester City’s 3-1 win over Porto on matchday one of the Champions League back in October
The two managers argued repeatedly during the game at the Etihad Stadium with Conceicao accusing Guardiola of putting pressure on officials with his comments
The pair repeatedly clashed, with Guardiola accused of ‘speaking about our country using ugly words’ during spats between the two benches.
‘I don’t agree with him, it’s not true,’ Guardiola said. ‘We didn’t pressure the referee, we are not a team who do this kind of thing. It’s not a part of who we are.
‘The five years we are here — and before then in Germany or Spain — our behaviour speaks for itself.’
Pepe kneed Raheem Sterling in the chest during a fiery meeting at the Etihad in October
Sterling and Pepe square up as the referee intervenes during the matchday one encounter
Sources in Portugal raised eyebrows at Conceicao’s outburst on Guardiola’s character, with one reporting that the former Lazio and Inter Milan winger regularly has run-ins with his own staff.
A member of his old Porto backroom team is believed to have resigned after bemoaning an ‘unbearable’ working environment.
Guardiola — who is again without striker Sergio Aguero, who felt a twinge in his knee at the weekend — expects similar spice at the Estadio do Dragao.
Ferran Torres celebrates his goal in the 3-1 win last month, with the reverse fixture on Tuesday
Manchester City can secure top spot in Group C if they get at least a draw in Portugal
‘It will be a tough physical game as it was here,’ he added. ‘They fight for each other, they have outstanding physicality.
‘Porto have to win every weekend and that makes them so dangerous. We expected it would be difficult when they came here and tomorrow will be the same.’
Despite City having already reached the last 16, Guardiola is reluctant to trial younger players in Porto.
Midfielder Tommy Doyle is the only academy prospect included in the travelling party.