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Pep Guardiola was keen to point out how Manchester City have closed the gap on Manchester United over the last decade as he previewed Wednesday's Carabao Cup tie.
The two Manchester clubs are set to do battle once again at Old Trafford, with City emerging victorious after two legs in last season's semi-finals.
The Sky Blues have won the Carabao Cup for the past three years and they have not finished below United in the Premier League since the 2012/13 campaign.
And Guardiola claims it has been an "honour" to contribute to City's dominance in the Manchester derby in recent years.
Guardiola has helped City surpass United in recent seasons
(Image: Pool via REUTERS)
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“United has always been a big club. When I faced them with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here, it was always important," said Guardiola.
"It is a rivalry in the city and for many decades United was above Manchester City.
"For us, we are incredibly proud and it is an honour for the last decade to be there with them and sometimes win, most of the times, and sometimes lose."
Guardiola has lifted the Carabao Cups for three years in a row
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City have been in fine form in the Premier League and registered an emphatic 3-1 victory at Chelsea in their last fixture.
But United are on an excellent run of their own and have drawn level on points with leaders Liverpool, with Guardiola admitting they are firmly in the title race.
He added: "They have always been contenders. Every year, when we start the season, United is a contender.
"If it didn’t happen in the last few seasons, it is a question for them. It is no different facing United or other contenders."
The Red Devils have a game in hand on Liverpool – whom they face in the Premier League next Sunday – while City are four points behind and have a further game in hand on United.
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