Ilkay Gundogan's reaction after calling Man Utd the 'strongest they've ever been' is worrying fans
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Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan believes Manchester United are the 'strongest they've been in years' - although supporters are seriously doubting the sincerity of his words.
City were dumped out of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening following a shock 2-0 defeat to Southampton in the quarter-finals.
First-half goals from Sekou Mara and Moussa Djenepo were enough to seal victory for Nathan Jones' side, who are currently bottom of the Premier League.
It's not the result City boss Pep Guardiola wanted, with a derby clash against United on Saturday afternoon on the horizon.
Erik ten Hag's men are in sensational form, sealing their own passage to the semi-finals with a 3-0 win over Charlton Athletic on Tuesday.
United are the only team to have picked up maximum points in the league since its restart after the World Cup alongside Fulham.
Form traditionally goes out the window when it comes to a derby. That hasn't stopped City captain Gundogan from waxing lyrical about United's form.
He told Sky Sports in his post-match interview: "It's never easy for the confidence to lose a game before such a big derby. We go to Old Trafford, we know we've done well over there.
"Another side of the truth, It feels like this United side is stronger than ever. They are full of confidence, they play great football, we will need a better performance than today."
Pep’s got his players playing mind games too. You can’t fool me i’m familiar with your game… pic.twitter.com/WB4chEdkiP— 𝗧𝗲𝗻 𝗛𝗮𝗴’𝘀 𝗥𝗲𝗱𝘀 ✍🏼🇳🇱 (@TenHagBalI) January 11, 2023
The Germany international seemed sincere in his words but United fans aren't buying it. They think Gundogan is attempting 'mind games' to lower United's guard.
One person said: "He's literally laughing as he says it."
Another commented: "The way he smiled through that whole interview is very unnerving."
A third put: "Pep thinks he's clever getting his players up to these tricks."
While someone added: "He thinks we can't see what he's doing."
City's defeat means Guardiola has lost a quarter-final for the first time in his glittering managerial career.
City were below their usual high standards at St. Mary's after making several changes. Guardiola believes the team he fielded should've been good enough to get a result.
He said post-match: "I know my players well and today was not even close to what we are They were better – Southampton deserve to be in the semi-finals. When you are not prepared to play this game you arrive one inch late and don’t score a goal. When you are prepared you score the goal. We have to accept it and improve."
Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports & Alamy
Topics: Manchester City, Ilkay Gundogan, Manchester United, Premier League