Manchester derby in China cancelled due to poor pitch and weather conditions
The much-awaited Manchester derby that was to be held at the Bird's Nest stadium tonight has been called off. Jose Mourinho's Manchester United was to take on Pep Guardiola's Manchester City in this preseason's first ' big' game – part of the International Champions Cup series.
At both press conferences – by the two managers – held last night, Pep and Jose acknowledged that they were worried about the state of the pitch. While the pitch has been poor, even Beijing's weather is said to have been a part of why the game was called off.
United put up a Tweet confirming that the preseason game was cancelled.
Speaking to journalists in his press conference last night, Mourinho said, "City versus United for me is Old Trafford or the Etihad or a cup final at Wembley, not a friendly.
"It was a friendly before we knew the conditions. After we know the conditions, it's maybe a double friendly. I just hope the players keep that balance and there are no problems.
"I repeat, if it was a friendly then it becomes a double friendly because no injuries, play calm, play safe, go home, keep the preparation next week."
His opposite number, Pep Guardiola, was also worried about the state of the pitch and the effect it would have on his players.
"I think Beijing is unlucky because the pitch is very bad,' he said. 'The pitch and the conditions of my players are more important than results in pre-season. It's not a problem for me to lose matches in pre-season.
"It's a problem for me, bad conditions for my players to train and bad conditions for my players to play. So if you ask me my objective for the match tomorrow I only have one: take the players home safe without any kind of injury.
"It's not the conditions to play a good game of football, but we have to play. We cannot just run away and disappear and not play. So we have to play and try to be lucky.
"Normally when you say lucky you say lucky because you want a good result. The result I want tomorrow is to go home without injuries and that is the luck I want," he concluded.
United will now head to Gothenburg, Sweden to take on Turkish giants Galatasaray while Manchester City travel to Shenzhen to take on Borussia Dortmund.