Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola could not get his head around the fact that Manchester United fans want their city rivals to pip Liverpool to the Premier League title on Sunday.
Just a point separates the two sides at the top of the table as the final day of the season beckons, with City needing to beat Aston Villa in order to guarantee top spot.
Villa, though, will not be short of motivation for the game, with Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard managing the West Midlands side while former Reds Philippe Coutinho and Danny Ings will have their part to play on the pitch.
United fans, battered and bruised after a wretched season, will watch on in pain, knowing that one of their rivals will end the day victorious.
City, though, are undoubtedly seen as the lesser of two evils, meaning most United fans would prefer to see Liverpool miss out. This prospect was mind-boggling to Guardiola. “Are you sure?” he asked reporters when informed that United fans will root for City.
“So United likes City more than Liverpool? I didn’t know that. So I was wrong when I said that everybody wants Liverpool to win in this country. They’re welcome to join us in the streets but they have to wear a blue shirt.”
On the test of facing Villa, he said: “I said to the players it’s just a football game, focus on the football game, don’t think of the consequences, of how happy we will be if we win or how sad we will be if we lose, forget about it.
“It’s just a football game, just think about what you have to do to win against Aston Villa. If you think about it being one more title or one less title – yes this kind of thing is important, everyone knows it – but it’s a football game.
“Do they play with (Ollie) Watkins or (Danny) Ings and Watkins? Does Douglas Luiz play as a holding midfielder or in a three? Will (John) McGinn move outside or not?
“This is what we have to handle tomorrow, these kind of things are what we have to think about if we want to win the game.”