Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has trolled Manchester City ahead of this weekend’s derby meeting at the Etihad, referencing the club’s spells outside the top flight in the early years of the Premier League era.
The Manchester rivals will meet for the 179th time on Saturday evening, the two club’s fortunes having drastically changed over the course of the past decade.
For much of their rivalry, it was Manchester United who held the ascendancy, though City’s billionaire takeover in 2008 catapulted the club into the elite and brought a new dimension to the inter-city contest.
Man City head into the clash as reigning Premier League champions, though Solskjaer could not resists a dig at his opponents’ previous misfortunes and says his side will be ready for a fiercely competitive meeting.
“At least we play every year now. It took many years for me to play my first [Manchester Derby],” Solskjaer said at his pre-match press conference.
“It’s changed in a way, Manchester City are a better team now than when I was playing.
“Football has changed quite a lot, you were allowed a few more proper tackles with every little angle. With everything being scrutinised now it’s more of a technical, tactical game than physical or mental.
“A derby should be played as a derby, we don’t play basketball and we’re ready if that happens.”
United head into the fixture currently sitting sixth in the Premier League following Wednesday night’s victory over Tottenham, whilst City sit third after beating Burnley at Turf Moor in midweek.