Pep Guardiola has dismissed Jose Mourinho’s claim that Manchester City are prepared to commit ‘tactical fouls’.
Manchester United boss Mourinho fanned the flames ahead of last week’s derby at Old Trafford by suggesting City regularly broke up play when out of possession by deliberately conceding free-kicks.
This came after he also appeared to accuse City players of diving and claimed he would probably be punished for making a political statement similar to Guardiola’s recent wearing of a yellow ribbon.
Guardiola said: “I don’t know how many fouls we make on the pitch but I think, when you have 70 per cent possession, we are not that team.
“I never, never, never, never sent a message to my players. You can ask the players – these players and the old players – if my message on the pitch was to make fouls. I don’t use this kind of message.
“We are not saints. Of course we do fouls but it’s because of the way the game is.”
Mourinho has since been asked by the Football Association to explain unspecified comments he made ahead of the derby.