Monday, 31 October 2016

Pep Guardiola says Man City's Champions League win over Barcelona is key

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says his side's 3-1 Champions League victory over Barcelona is a landmark win for the club, but admits they did not do it playing the way he favours.
City had not beaten Barca in five previous attempts in Europe and Guardiola said after the Group C game on Tuesday: "It is a good step to say that once in our lives we played against the best team in the world and we beat them.
"We competed with Barcelona, but for now we did it in a different way. We played more long balls because we are still not ready to keep the ball and play like they do.
"They have been playing that way for 25 years. For us, it is three or four months that we have been trying to play in a different style."
City staged a thrilling comeback after Lionel Messi's 90th Champions League goal put the visitors 1-0 up in the first 20 minutes.
The win, courtesy of two goals from Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin de Bruyne's free-kick, leaves City second in the group behind Barca, needing one more win from their two remaining games to progress to the last 16.
Guardiola, who won the Champions League twice as Barca manager, had seen his side lose 4-0 at the Nou Camp last month in the reverse fixture after goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was sent off.
But the 45-year-old Spaniard said that when it was "11 v 11" in the first game, his side performed much better than for the 38 minutes on Tuesday night.
"They were 1-0 up and we were really in trouble. They had a chance to score their second and if they had, then the game was done - finished," said Guardiola.
"Our equaliser changed absolutely everything for our mood. We also realised our build-up was too complicated, because they were playing a high-pressing game against us.
"We did not feel comfortable and we changed the way we played. We tried to play a little bit more direct."

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