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Pep Guardiola hits back at Sergio Conceicao criticism of touchline behaviour

:Headline: Pep Guardiola hits back at Sergio Conceicao criticism of touchline behaviour:
Porto boss Sergio Conceicao accused Pep Guardiola and has backroom staff of attempting to influence officials.
Sports Mole

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has hit back at Sergio Conceicao's criticism of his behaviour ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash against Porto.

Porto boss Conceicao accused Guardiola and has backroom staff of attempting to influence officials following the first Group C meeting between the two clubs at the Etihad Stadium in October.

"I've got a lot to learn from Pep Guardiola in the way he pressures referees, talks to opposition players and the opposition dugout," said Conceicao after City came from behind to win 3-1. "We were angels compared to the other dugout."

Porto boss Sergio Conceicao said he was frustrated by Guardiola's behaviour (Paul Ellis/PA)

Guardiola insists he has never acted in such a way throughout his managerial career.

He said: "I'm not agreeing. It's his opinion but I don't agree. We didn't pressure the referee.

"History speaks for itself. We are not this type of team to do this kind of thing.

"I would admit if there's an action you do not agree (with) you can make any comment with the assistant referee but that's one specific action. It's not a part of who we are.

"The five years we are here – and before then in Germany or Spain – our behaviour speaks for itself. I'm just saying I don't agree. It's not true."

City's first meeting with Porto was a fraught affair (Martin Rickett/PA)

City have won three further games since their hard-fought victory over Porto on matchday one to secure their place in the last 16.

For them, clinching top spot is all that is at stake in their remaining two games but Porto still need a point to join City in the knockout stages.

Guardiola is expecting another physical encounter against the Portuguese side at the Estadio do Dragao.

He said: "Yes, it will be a tough, physical game for sure. It was here (in Manchester) and I saw their game against Marseille. They have an incredible team spirit, they fight for each other.

"Their physicality is outstanding and it will be tough. But that's normal, it's the Champions League away."

City's record goalscorer Sergio Aguero will not be involved (Neil Hall/PA)

City will again be without record goalscorer Sergio Aguero. The striker has been suffering discomfort in his knee since the weekend and missed Saturday's 5-0 Premier League victory over Burnley.

The Argentinian's return from knee surgery in the summer has already been complicated by a hamstring injury and the club are unwilling to take risks now, even if the problem is minor.

Guardiola said: "I am not concerned. He did not train. He had a little disturbance in his knee. It is nothing serious but he didn't train."

City not only put aside their goalscoring issues aside in their impressive weekend win but further improved their strong recent defensive record. City, who bolstered their defensive resources with the signings of Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake in the summer, have conceded just six goals in their last 12 games.

Ederson has made the case for City's defence – and taking penalties (Martin Rickett/PA)

Goalkeeper Ederson said: "Our defence is more consistent now. We are developing little by little.

"It doesn't happen from one day to the other. It requires time but we have more players and less injuries than last season."

Ederson, who joined Guardiola at the pre-match press conference, also made clear he was available should City's penalty-taking problems of last season resurface.

The Brazilian said: "I don't train free-kicks but I train for penalties. I am the best penalty-taker but I am not chosen to take them!"

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester UnitedMan Utd19124336251140
2Manchester CityMan City18115231131838
3Leicester CityLeicester19122535211438
4Liverpool1997337221534
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs1896333171633
6Everton1710252821732
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham199552722532
8Chelsea1985633231029
9Southampton188552621529
10Arsenal198382319427
11Aston Villa1682629181126
12Leeds UnitedLeeds187293034-423
13Crystal Palace196582233-1123
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves196492129-822
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle185491830-1219
16Burnley185491022-1219
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton193882229-717
18Fulham1826101527-1212
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1925121543-2811
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd1912161032-225
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester UnitedMan Utd19124336251140
2Manchester CityMan City18115231131838
3Leicester CityLeicester19122535211438
4Liverpool1997337221534
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs1896333171633
6Everton1710252821732
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham199552722532
8Chelsea1985633231029
9Southampton188552621529
10Arsenal198382319427
11Aston Villa1682629181126
12Leeds UnitedLeeds187293034-423
13Crystal Palace196582233-1123
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves196492129-822
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle185491830-1219
16Burnley185491022-1219
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton193882229-717
18Fulham1826101527-1212
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1925121543-2811
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd1912161032-225
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