The leggy midfield man did not look like a player who would cross Guardiola's thoughts, either as a danger or potential acquisition, in a first 45 minutes in which United were dazzled and bewildered by City's brilliance.
"One year ago something happened in Dortmund so we come here to play football and I don't understand this kind of situation".
That was still 10 minutes slower than Liverpool's three-goal salvo at the start of the second half in a 4-3 Premier League win over City in January. "We're going to try next Tuesday and next games".
City's entire performance was bad, they couldn't cope with the relentless pressure from Liverpool and constantly misplaced passes, even when Salah went off injured and Liverpool sat back to take off the pressure, City never got into the game or even got a shot on target.
He acknowledged before Wednesday's game that City's style plays right into the hands of Liverpool, but said he would not budge in his beliefs. "We needed one goal and we couldn't score it", he said.
Guardiola understands why his tactics have been brought into question after the past week, but pointed out City's record-breaking season suggests such assessments are inaccurate.
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Deripaska's conglomerate, Basic Element , said it regretted the sanctions and was analyzing them with its lawyers. Moscow , in turn, expelled 60 USA officials from Russian Federation.
"There's a feeling of sadness and disappointment but we must turn the page as soon as possible because we have another big challenge on Tuesday", he said.
"In football anything can happen, it's the first time we've lost two games in a row this season and now we have to recover and try again, go back to the basics and win games". We have to see the condition of the players. "And we didn't close it [against United]". It only gives us more strength to fight on the field and win the games.
"Of course we are sad for ourselves, for our fans - but we still have 13 points advantage and goal difference".
However, even their firepower will count for nothing if City defend as they have in losing back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Ahead of this weekend's derby, Guardiola said they must be fully concentrated as they edge very close to being crowned this season's league champions.
"In this room, I think there is nobody except the guy talking to you who believes we can go through", Guardiola told reporters.
"We are going to pick the team to win tomorrow, there is no doubt about that".