Champions League

Man City can't compare to Barca, Madrid yet - Guardiola

2018-03-06 21:23
Pep Guardiola (Twitter)

Manchester - Manchester City can't yet consider themselves the equal of Barcelona or Real Madrid, City manager Pep Guardiola has insisted despite a stunning season that has seen his side installed as Champions League favourites.

The runaway Premier League leaders will secure their place in the last eight of the Champions League for just the second time in their history barring a remarkable last 16, second leg collapse when they host Basel on Wednesday, boasting a 4-0 first leg lead.

Guardiola sees City's status as favourites ahead of former clubs Barcelona and Bayern Munich, and holders Real Madrid as a testament to their form this season.

"When I am talking about we are favourites to win the Champions League, it's an honour," Guardiola said on Tuesday.

"If you don't play good at Manchester City... the people are not going to say that because we don't have (a) legacy."

However, Guardiola, who won the Champions League twice in a glorious four-year spell at Barcelona, believes the experience of the two Spanish giants in Europe's premier club competition gives them an upper hand.

Madrid and Barca have combined to win the Champions League for the past four years, and Guardiola cited Madrid's 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their blockbuster last 16 clash as evidence of why league form can count for little in European competition.

"Before the first game against PSG people said 'Madrid is not good, PSG is going to win, is a top team' and Madrid win 3-1 because Madrid has 12 Champions Leagues and it is a lot.

"It is a different competition, it is moments. Tomorrow we have the chance to be in quarter-finals for the second time in our history and that is so important."

City won their first trophy of Guardiola's reign in charge by beating Arsenal in the League Cup final nine days ago, and seem destined to add the Premier League title as they hold a 16-point lead at the top of the table.

However, the Catalan coach rejected suggestions he is building a dynasty like he did at Barcelona.

"It's not good for us comparing with that team because that team dominate the last decade with different managers and different players. They won a lot, a lot of things.

"We won just the first title so to be or think about joining this kind of team you have to be there a long, long time and a long time means many years."

Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan scored twice in City's stroll past Basel in the first leg in Switzerland three weeks ago.

However, the German, who reached the Champions League final with Borussia Dortmund in 2013, also stressed City can't get ahead of themselves with tougher tests to come from the quarter-finals on.

"I think the results of the last games, it doesn't matter if in the Champions League, Premier League or other competitions because they were quite good, so a lot of people try to see us at the same level as Barca, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich, but we still feel like we need to compete with them.

"We are not there yet. We are on a very good way and, if we have to play one day against them, we want to be ready."

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Fixtures
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
AEK Athens v Bayern Munchen, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 18:55
Young Boys v Valencia, STADE DE SUISSE Wankdorf Bern 18:55
Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:00
Ajax v Benfica, Johan Cruijff ArenA 21:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:00
Manchester United v Juventus, Old Trafford 21:00
Roma v CSKA Moskva, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
Hoffenheim v Olympique Lyonnais, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Club Brugge v Monaco, Jan Breydelstadion 18:55
PSV v Tottenham Hotspur, Philips Stadion 18:55
Liverpool v Crvena Zvezda, Anfield 21:00
Barcelona v Internazionale, Camp Nou 21:00
PSG v Napoli, Parc des Princes 21:00
Lokomotiv Moskva v Porto, RZD Arena 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Atletico Madrid, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Galatasaray v Schalke 04, Turk Telekom Stadyumu 21:00
Tuesday, 06 November 2018
Monaco v Club Brugge, Stade Louis II 19:55
Crvena Zvezda v Liverpool, Stadion Rajko Mitic 19:55
Porto v Lokomotiv Moskva, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Internazionale v Barcelona, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza 22:00
Napoli v PSG, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Schalke 04 v Galatasaray, Veltins-Arena 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v PSV, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 07 November 2018
Valencia v Young Boys, Estadio de Mestalla 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Roma, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Manchester United, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v AEK Athens, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Viktoria Plzen v Real Madrid, Doosan Arena 22:00
Benfica v Ajax, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Hoffenheim, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Tuesday, 27 November 2018
AEK Athens v Ajax, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Viktoria Plzen, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Valencia, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v Benfica, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Manchester City, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v Young Boys, Old Trafford 22:00
Roma v Real Madrid, Stadio Olimpico 22:00
Hoffenheim v Shakhtar Donetsk, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 22:00
Wednesday, 28 November 2018
Atletico Madrid v Monaco, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 19:55
Lokomotiv Moskva v Galatasaray, RZD Arena 19:55
Porto v Schalke 04, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
PSG v Liverpool, Parc des Princes 22:00
PSV v Barcelona, Philips Stadion 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge, Signal-Iduna-Park 22:00
Napoli v Crvena Zvezda, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Internazionale, Wembley Stadium 22:00
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