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'I encouraged the players to celebrate victory:' Pep breaks silence on tunnel bust-up

Up to 20 players from Man United and Manchster City were reportedly involved in clashes after their Premier League match at the weekend.

Image: Martin Rickett

PEP GUARDIOLA HAS revealed that he encouraged his Man City players to celebrate their victory over local rivals Man United at the weekend, and insists that the team’s conduct was not excessive.

The City players celebrated their 2-1 win in front of their fans after the final whistle, and are believed to have continued the festivities in the dressing rooms shortly after with loud music playing, according to Sky Sports.

Sources at both clubs say there were no punches thrown.

Up to 20 players from both sides reportedly clashed in the tunnel after the Manchester derby, leaving City assistant coach Mikel Arteta with blood streaming down his face.

It’s believed that Jose Mourinho and City goalkeeper Ederson had an altercation after the game, while other reports say milk and water was thrown at the United manager for condemning City’s celebrations.

Pep has come out to defend his players for how they celebrated the win.

“I encouraged the players to celebrate the victory, but of course inside of the locker room. We’ve huge respect for our opponents, not just for Man United,” he said in a pre-match press conference ahead of City’s clash against Swansea on Wednesday.

“I am the guy who encouraged them to celebrate in the moment but between each other.”

When asked if he thought the celebrations went too far, he responded: “No, definitely not.

“We were happy. We won a derby against Manchester United, one of the best rivals we have to win it (Premier League)”

“We celebrated. But I think if United win a derby, they celebrate it.

“But where? Inside the locker room. That’s what we tried to do and we did it.

“People have to understand that we were happy. We won an important game. I think all the teams around the world when they win a derby, they are so happy.”

The FA is demanding that both clubs report their observations of the incident, and Pep says that City will comply fully with the request.

“After what happened, hopefully it cannot happen again. What happened we will make a statement to the FA investigation.”

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