Pep Guardiola is prepared to apologise to Manchester United if they consider Manchester City’s celebrations after Sunday’s derby excessive.
Staff and players from United are understood to have taken exception to the raucous way City enjoyed their 2-1 success at Old Trafford, sparking a fracas in the corridor outside the dressing rooms.
There have been reports United boss Jose Mourinho became involved in an altercation with City goalkeeper Ederson and that milk and water were thrown at the Portuguese. City coach Mikel Arteta is also understood to have suffered a cut to the face.
City boss Guardiola would not confirm any details of the alleged melee but was adamant his players were well within their rights to try to enjoy their victory in their dressing room.
He said: “Sometimes Manchester United made a lot, in the past, celebrations over City. It is part of everything.
“But if we were not correct, or something like that, then I apologise to all of Manchester United. Our intentions were not that.
“Our intentions were to celebrate, inside the locker room, our happiness because we were happy. If the people cannot understand that then I’m sorry.
“We were so happy, we won a derby. If in that way we offended United – not just one player, not (just) Jose – then I apologise. We have huge respect for our opponents – not just Manchester United, all the opponents.”
City’s victory took them 11 points clear of their nearest rivals at the top of the Premier League and its signifcance was not lost on their coaching staff, who joined in the touchline celebrations after the final whistle.
They even urged Guardiola to join the players in acknowledging the visiting fans but the Spaniard declined, mindful of a recent incident involving Southampton’s Nathan Redmond when emotions got the better of him.
“I did the ridiculous thing with Redmond,” he said. “I don’t want to do that, believe me, but sometimes you do.
“Sometimes you can control yourself and say, ‘OK, it’s not necessary to go there’. We haven’t won anything yet so we went in the locker room.”
City and United have been asked by the Football Association for their observations regarding the alleged commotion at Old Trafford. They have been given until Wednesday to respond.
It is claimed the trouble started because Mourinho had to walk past the City dressing room on his way to conduct post-match interviews.
Guardiola said: “The situation at Old Trafford when you go to the home locker room you have to pass the away one, but we were inside celebrating. But that is normal, it wasn’t anything exceptional. It was what we did last season in the past and what we will do in the future. I encourage the players to celebrate the victories.”
Guardiola, speaking at a press conference to preview Wednesday’s trip to Swansea, added that City will consider buying another centre-back in January. City are currently without the injured John Stones and Vincent Kompany.
Guardiola said: “We are thinking about it. In that department we have few players.”