Champions League

Man City still not clinical enough to win Champions League - Guardiola

2019-10-21 17:49
Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola (Getty Images)

Manchester - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes the English champions are still not strong enough at either end of the field to count themselves as realistic contenders to win the Champions League for the first time.

City are the bookmakers' favourites to finally win the biggest prize in European football after more than a decade of huge investment from the club's Abu Dhabi owners and in Guardiola's fourth season in charge.

However, the Catalan, who has won the Champions League twice as a manager and once as a player at Barcelona, thinks City will be punished in the latter stages of the competition if they continue the inconsistent form they have shown so far in the Premier League this season.

"We miss a lot of chances in the final third and we have to do that, to be clinical. When the people say about the Champions League being the target, we are still not ready," said Guardiola, whose side have won their opening two Champions League games and host Atalanta at the Etihad on Tuesday.

"In this competition you have to be strong in the boxes and this season we are not incredibly strong in the boxes. Of course we have time."

City have been beset by injuries in defence and suffered shock defeats to Norwich and Wolves in their opening nine Premier League games.

Guardiola, though, believes the onus is on his side to attack well as a unit to mask any defensive failings.

"When you play good, you defend less. When our build-up is bad, when you don't play good, you concede a lot," he added.

"What happens when we make our incredible, fluid game from the build-up? We concede few (chances). When our build-up is wrong, we make mistakes in the first pass, we are nervous like what happened against Wolves...we concede a lot.

"That's why it's related. It's not that you play well in one department and it's enough. When our pressing is high, is intense, we concede really few (chances)."

Guardiola will at least have more defenders to choose from for the visit of the Italians in midweek with Nicolas Otamendi and Kyle Walker returning to training after missing Saturday's 2-0 win at Crystal Palace, while John Stones could make his first start in five weeks.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Fixtures
Tuesday, 26 November 2019
Lokomotiv Moscow v Bayer Leverkusen, Lokomotiv Stadium 19:55
Galatasaray v Club Brugge, Turk Telekom Arena 19:55
Juventus v Atletico Madrid, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Atalanta v Dinamo Zagreb, Atleti Azzurri d'Italia 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Real Madrid v Paris SG, Santiago Bernabeu 22:00
Red Star Belgrade v Bayern Munchen, Stadion Rajko Mitic 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Olympiacos, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Valencia v Chelsea, Mestalla 19:55
Zenit St. Petersburg v Lyon, Saint Petersburg Stadium 19:55
Liverpool v Napoli, Anfield 22:00
Barcelona v Borussia Dortmund, Camp Nou 22:00
Slavia Prague v Inter Milan, Eden Arena 22:00
Genk v Red Bull Salzburg, Luminus Arena 22:00
RB Leipzig v Benfica, Red Bull Arena 22:00
Lille v Ajax, Stade Pierre-Mauroy 22:00
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Red Bull Salzburg v Liverpool, Red Bull Arena 19:55
Napoli v Genk, San Paolo 19:55
Ajax v Valencia, Amsterdam ArenA 22:00
Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg, da Luz 22:00
Lyon v RB Leipzig, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Inter Milan v Barcelona, San Siro 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Slavia Prague, Signal Iduna Park 22:00
Chelsea v Lille, Stamford Bridge 22:00
Wednesday, 11 December 2019
Dinamo Zagreb v Manchester City, Maksimir Stadium 19:55
Shakhtar Donetsk v Atalanta, Metalist Stadium 19:55
Bayern Munchen v Tottenham Hotspur, Allianz Arena 22:00
Bayer Leverkusen v Juventus, BayArena 22:00
Club Brugge v Real Madrid, Jan Breydel Stadion 22:00
Olympiacos v Red Star Belgrade, Karaiskakis Stadium 22:00
Paris SG v Galatasaray, Parc des Princes 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow, Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Saturday, 30 May 2020
TBA v TBA, Ataturk Olympic Stadium 02:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will emerge victorious in this season's Champions League?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.