Pep Guardiola's tribute to Sheffield United after Man City win 1-0 at Etihad

Pep Guardiola believes facing Sheffield United today will be Manchester City's toughest game of the season after his side beat the Blades 1-0 at The Etihad.

Saturday, 30th January 2021, 5:32 pm

United were looking to kickstart their survival bid with another positive result after the midweek victory at Manchester United, but got off to the worst possible start when Gabriel Jesus capitalised on some poor defending to put City 1-0 ahead.

But United did not capitulate and stayed in the game, almost getting their reward with a few minutes remaining when John Fleck volleyed an effort narrowly wide of the far post.

And Guardiola, who admitted he was "worried" about this game on the eve of it and praised United as "alive", admitted: "I woke up this morning, went out of my building and saw it was windy, and we said it would be the toughest game we play this season.

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"When you see Sheffield United at the bottom of the league, you realise why it's the toughest league in the world.

"We have struggled with them every game, the physicality they have and organisation of Chris's team is outstanding.

"Our commitment was fantastic and we played really well. I'm incredibly grateful for the players, it was so difficult and we did it."

The former Barcelona boss described United as a "lively" team on the eve of the game, adding: "They are alive from their body language. That is not easy with the results they got and that speaks incredibly well about Chris [Wilder], his staff and the players."

Josep Guardiola manager of Manchester City talks to Chris Wilder manager of Sheffield Utd after the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. Darren Staples/Sportimage