Sport Guardiola demands more as Man City cruise to brink of Champions League last eight

03:10  25 february  2021
03:10  25 february  2021 Source:   afp.com

Guardiola backs 'exceptional' Klopp to bounce back

  Guardiola backs 'exceptional' Klopp to bounce back Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola offered his support to Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp after the Reds' downturn in form led to rumours the German could walk away from the Premier League champions. Guardiola and Klopp have battled for supremacy for the majority of their time in England together with City and Liverpool the Premier League's two dominant sides for the past four seasons. City look set to win their third title in four years after opening up a seven-point lead at the top of the table with a game in hand to come.

Manchester City haven't given up hope of Sergio Aguero making a dramatic return in time for the Champions League last eight mini tournament in Portugal. Aguero, the club's record goalscorer, hasn't played since injuring his knee against Burnley on June 22 and is currently in Barcelona receiving specialist treatment. City don't play their quarter-final against Lyon until Saturday with the Champions League final scheduled for August 23 leaving Pep Guardiola with the possibility of being able to call upon his star Argentine striker.

Pep Guardiola 's Manchester City crashed out of the Champions League again last week to Lyon. Yaya Toure believes that Guardiola 's job would be in serious doubt if he was managing in Spain. Guardiola must be wondering whether he, too, needs a miracle to land Big Ears once more . Yaya Toure admits he is powerless to change Manchester City ’s minds after they honoured David Silva with a statue, but not him. When he left in 2018, City named a training pitch after Toure and unveiled a mosaic of his winning goal in the 2011 FA Cup final against Stoke City .

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".

On target: Manchester City players celebrate the second goal © FERENC ISZA On target: Manchester City players celebrate the second goal

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.

Angelino names the difference between Nagelsmann and Guardiola

 Angelino names the difference between Nagelsmann and Guardiola Angelino from RB Leipzig is grateful to his trainer Julian Nagelsmann. This gave him the confidence - in contrast to Pep Guardiola. © Provided by sport1.de Angelino names the difference between Nagelsmann and Guardiola winger Angelino from Bundesliga club RB Leipzig sees a crucial difference between his coach Julian Nagelsmann and his ex-coach Pep Guardiola. "One gave me the confidence and set me up. And the other didn't," said the Spaniard on Wednesday.

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan says last season's Champions League exit will not provide an extra source of motivation this year. Manchester City have won each of their past three away games in the Champions League last 16 - 4-0 v Basel in February 2018, 3-2 v Schalke in February 2019 and 2-1 v Real Madrid in February 2020. Manchester City accrued 16 points in this season's Champions League group stage; the joint- most of any English side in a single group stage, along with Arsenal in 2005-06 (finalists), Manchester United in 2007-08 (winners) and Tottenham

Manchester City take on Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League . The first leg of the last -16 tie will be held in Budapest, Hungary on Wednesday. Monchengladbach came through a tough group featuring Real Madrid and Inter. Eighteen straight victories in all competitions has seen City fly clear at the top of the Premier League , cruise into the FA Cup quarter-finals and reach the Carabao Cup final against Tottenham. The prospect of knocking out City - and ending that incredible run - now appears a much more daunting task for Monchengladbach, who go into Wednesday night's game

Although dominant, City took time to break down a stubborn German defence, often foiled by the interceptions of Algeria left-back Ramy Bensebaini.

While Guardiola said afterwards he was "pleased" with the result, he added City "have to improve" to challenge for Champions League honours.

"We controlled the game. Unfortunately we were not clinical up front, it is something we have to improve in this competition, we were not good enough in the box, we didn't dribble and shoot enough," said Guardiola.

"In this competition you have to be perfect to be sure you can go through," he said.

Debutants in the Champions League knockout stages, Gladbach had been urged by coach Marco Rose to be brave against Guardiola's side.

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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 manager Pep Guardiola demands team take pre-season form into Premier League campaign after West Ham victory. Pep Guardiola wants Manchester City 's good pre-season form to continue. City 's summer schedule came to an end on Friday with a 3-0 win over West Ham. Guardiola 's men begin their league season away to newly promoted Brighton.

However, City 's latest quest for the trophy they most desire restarts this week with the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie against Borussia Moenchengladbach. As Pep Guardiola 's first signing after arriving in Manchester , Gundogan joined a project determined to make a On his return he was faced with finding his way into a midfield three of Fernandinho, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne that shone as City set an English top-flight record of 100 points to cruise to the title in 2018/19. Now 30 and with Silva departed and Fernandinho playing a bit-part role at 35, Gundogan is one of City 's leaders.

France's Alassane Plea was almost through on goal on 20 minutes after a rare counterattack, but a nervy and deep-lying Gladbach eventually succumbed to mounting pressure in the 29th minute.

A sublime inch-perfect cross by Portuguese defender Joao Cancelo curled over the defence from the left to reach his compatriot Silva who flicked his close-range header past Yann Sommer.

"We tried to play simple and not make mistakes. It's a good win for us, but it's not over yet," Silva told BT Sport.

"Every time when he plays (Silva) is an exceptional player, he's really good in the air, the goal was fantastic how he finished it," said Guardiola.

The 26-year-old Cancelo, impressive throughout, nearly doubled the lead five minutes from the break but his shot from just outside the box pinged over the bar.

Then early in the second half Jesus should have converted after latching on to a poorly judged backpass by Bensebaini but saw his shot blocked by Swiss defender Nico Elvedi.

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 Guardiola explains winning streak: Manchester City rush from victory to victory. But with Pep Guardiola's explanation a reporter had to ask again. © Getty Images Has repaired the bumpy start of the season in an impressive way: ManCity coach Pep Guardiola. Unbeaten in 26 competitive games, 19 wins in a row, twelve away wins in a row: Manchester City, after the ninth matchday still table 13. in England, has become the top favorite for the Premier and Champions League titles within a few months.

'Liverpool will be Premier League champions ': Pep Guardiola hails Man City 's rivals as he admits defeat in title race despite having 14 games left. 'Liverpool obviously will be champions of the Premier League , but they would be champions in Spain, champions in Italy, champions in Germany,' the Spaniard said. 'They would be champions everywhere after 23 games, 22 victories, one draw. 'In the recent past when Chelsea won the league , the next season, they didn't qualify for the Champions League , Leicester the same and Chelsea again the same.

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Apart from a lunging backheel from Plea that flashed just wide of Ederson's far post on the hour mark, City comfortably contained the Germans, and went two up in the 65th minute.

Another majestic cross-field pass by Cancelo again found Silva at Sommer's far post who this time headed back across the goalmouth for Jesus to fire home and seal City's 19th successive victory and sixth Champions League clean sheet in a row.

Gladbach, who managed just one shot on target throughout the game, an effort by substitute Hannes Wolf saved by Ederson in the last moments, now face a formidable task to turn around the tie in the return leg scheduled for March 16 in Manchester.

"We deservedly lost today against a very strong team, you don't get many chances against such an opponent, we simply couldn't attack more," said Rose

"It would have been good to score at the end to be in a better position."


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