The Blues’ boss says there are three difficult games still to play and has ordered his players to rest and relax before returning to action against Burnley on Sunday.
“We were ourselves more in the second half because the first-half was a little bit different, but I understand the pressure that is on us and come to Old Trafford and have to win,” said Pep.
REPORT: United 0-2 City
“We knew United would want to react after the weekend and need points for the Champions League, so this was a tough game for us.
“Rashford and Lingard are so dangerous trying to get in behind us with their runs, but at half-time I told the players they had to play to win – it doesn’t matter if they lose trying to win but we needed to try to win this game.
“After that run by Bernardo we showed that we wanted to do it and after that, Leroy came on and played really well and we scored the goals that gave us the victory.
“Leroy came on and helped us win by making a step forward and made a lot of actions I really liked.
“Now we must be calm and rest because on Sunday we go to Burnley and we know how tough that is going to be.”
The Catalan also says he feels neither City nor Liverpool deserve to lose the 2018/19 title race.
He said: “In my opinion, both us and Liverpool deserve the title – the team that finishes second should not have any regrets because they will have done everything possible.
“We are on 89 points and Liverpool 88 points and it’s tough because there are still three games to play – it is incredible, but it is what it is - and we still need to win our remaining games, starting on Sunday at Turf Moor.
“Normally, this kind of victory we can enjoy the most, but now we have to be calm.
“I’ve told the players to rest tomorrow, relax, don’t talk too much, don’t watch TV, just eat well and get plenty of sleep because on Sunday we have another difficult game.
“Then we will have eight days to prepare for Leicester who have quality players in the middle and Vardy up front, and then another week to get ready for Brighton and hopefully, they will be safe and not need points to stay up!
“It’s game by game and that’s all we can do.
“Now we have to enjoy today, and then we will focus on Burnley from tomorrow.”
Pep also thanked the City fans’ superb support
“I’d like to thank our fans again, they were amazing, just as they were in our two games against Tottenham – so we thank them, and we are so happy for them,” he said.
“Away from home, they are always incredible, and I sometimes hear them even more than when we are at home, so a big thank you to them again.”
Pep also gave a quick injury update on Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho, adding: “Ferna had a little problem at half-time and when he went down, I thought he would not be able to continue so we brought on Leroy.
“Ilkay took a big kick on his leg so we will see how he and Ferna are tomorrow.”