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Sport Irresistible for two months, Manchester City wants to believe it is the right one in the Champions League

21:08  23 february  2021
21:08  23 february  2021 Source:   sport24.lefigaro.fr

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Pep Guardiola, entraîneur de Manchester City, donne des consignes à Phil Foden face à Tottenham le 13 février 2021. © AI / REUTERS / PANORAMIC Pep Guardiola, Manchester City coach, gives instructions to Phil Foden against Tottenham on February 13, 2021

What if this was Manchester City's year? The chorus is well known to football fans. The Emirati company City Football Group bought the English club in 2008, with the ambition of making them one of the best teams in Europe, a bit like the Qatari project at PSG launched three years later. And as in Paris, we smile at City: 14 trophies in 12 years, including 4 English league titles. But as in Paris, we cringe at the mere mention of the Champions League, justice of the peace when it comes to determining who are the biggest clubs on the continent. Manchester City has never reached the final of C1, despite massive investments in almost every transfer window. Worse: since the hiring in 2016 of Pep Guardiola, considered the best coach in the world, City has not seen the last four of the so prestigious competition. Years of doubts and frustrations that the Skyblues think they will finally sweep away in 2021. And there is much to believe in.

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It is in Budapest, Hungary, that Manchester City will attack their Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday. It will be "at" the German club Borussia Mönchengladbach, health context requires . A relocation which the men of Marco Rose would have gladly done without. They remain in 4 games without a win in the Bundesliga, a dynamic contrary to that of City. With a series of 18 successes in all competitions underway, the Citizens have set a new record for an English club. It is also unheard of in the coaching career of Pep Guardiola, who nevertheless coached FC Barcelona (2008-2012) and Bayern Munich (2013-2016). “We managed to win so many matches because each time, we are focused on the next one. It's our secret, ”Guardiola decrypted after a victory in control at Arsenal Sunday (0-1) .

Pep and Rose: Wine Date in Manchester

 Pep and Rose: Wine Date in Manchester Pep Guardiola and Marco Rose talk animatedly after the duel between Manchester City and Borussia Mönchengladbach. The Spaniard reveals what the coaches are planning. © Provided by sport1.de Pep and Rose: Wine Date in Manchester The TV cameras caught a special moment after the final whistle in the Budapest Puskás Arena: Gladbach coach Marco Rose and city coach Pep Guardiola chatted afterwards 0: 2 in the first leg of the first knockout round for quite a while.

Manchester City's victory in Marseille last November (1-3)


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In the Premier League, the title almost in the pocket

It makes you wonder what will stop Manchester City, which is already 10 points ahead of its Mancunian rival at the top of the Premier League . The wounds ? Kevin De Bruyne, playing master of the Citizens, missed 7 matches between January and February. Anything but a problem when you have Phil Foden (20) to relay it. "At his age, Phil Foden is the most talented player I have ever seen as a player and as a coach," said Guardiola, former coach of a certain Lionel Messi. All lights are green at City, between a multitasking João Cancelo in his right lane, a serial midfielder with Ilkay Gündogan and a - finally - impermeable defense, with 2 goals conceded in the last 10 league matches.

But then what can Gladbach and his French doublet in attack , Marcus Thuram and Alassane Pléa, hope for? “We're going to need courage and energy,” said Marco Rose. We don't just want to defend but also to play football. ” A thorny problem for Rose. If her team finds out, she will be punished. So should we "park the bus" and pray to mark a misunderstanding? Everton coach Carlo Ancelotti has developed a solid strategy with a low block to brake Guardiola's men on February 17th . The Toffees held their ground until halftime (1-1) before shattering in the second half, facing the talent of Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva (1-3). Of course, the inherent uncertainty in football allows the suspense to remain intact before this round of 16 first leg. Moreover, Manchester City has taken a bad habit of disappointing in the Champions League, just last summer, in the quarter-final in Lisbon against Lyon (1-3) . But this year, the sky has never been so blue for the Skyblues.

Thuram's double against Real Madrid last October (2-2)

Guardiola demands more as Man City cruise to brink of Champions League last eight .
Manchester City moved to the verge of the Champions League quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach on Wednesday but coach Pep Guardiola insisted his team still need to "be more clinical up front". A first half header from Bernardo Silva and a Gabriel Jesus strike in the second period of the last 16 first leg tie extended a winning streak by Guardiola's high-flying side to 19 games in all competitions. Premier League leaders City camped inside the Gladbach half for most of the game, which was moved to Hungary due to Germany's Covid-19 travel restrictions.

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