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Guardiola: We never gave up

PEP: His team were on the ball to begin with

PEP: His team were on the ball to begin with

Man City manager Pep Guardiola praised his side’s fighting spirit in the incredible 5-3 Champions League triumph over Monaco.

The Blues came from behind twice to turn the game on its head and extended their lead to hand themselves a two-goal advantage to take to the second leg.

Pep Guardiola spoke of his pride for the way his team rallied against a dangerous Monaco side, adding such mental strength is essential in the Club’s journey to success.

“It was a special game,” he reflected. “I cannot deny that. It had up and downs. We attacked quite good, although our build up was quite slow – but it was not easy because Monaco are so organised. Of course, we have to improve.

“A lot of things happened. Everything is open. “We played against incredible players, who were quick on the counter attack and in the midfield, and strong physically.

“We attacked in small spaces and we defended with huge spaces behind. That’s why they wanted me to come here. Everybody has to be congratulated because if one team can score a thousand million goals, it’s Monaco!

“If you are not able to control all the game, especially the counter attack, it’s so rough. We have to improve –  the first and second goals were mistakes.

“Today, the lesson is: we never gave up. In some moments we were lucky but we were unlucky in the first half.

Read... Match report: City 5-3 Monaco

“I am so happy for the result and the performance. We are still alive.

“These kind of things help this club achieve another step forward.

“Monaco have more history in the competition. You have to live these kind of situation to get better and become a better team.

“It’s a huge compliment for the players to be there – to never give up. That’s why we are still alive.”

Guardiola also reserved praise for goalkeeper Willy Caballero, who made a number of crucial stops – including a penalty save to deny Falcao.

“In that moment it would have been 1-3 and mentally would have been so tough,” he admitted, “but Willy made an excellent penalty save.

“It was a marvellous game – everybody enjoyed it in the stadium and at home.”

Even with a two-goal advantage, Guardiola has no intention of approaching the return leg defensively.

“We are going to fly to Monaco to score as many goals as possible,” he continued.

“I would like to see how many teams are able to get a clean sheet against Monaco this season. They have fantastic players.

“We understood immediately they are going to attack with runs in behind. It’s so, so difficult but we created a lot of chances and I don’t know if Monaco have seen a team create as many chances as we did against them tonight.

“They always arrived with 6, 7 players and I haven't seen a team attack with so many good players for a long time.

“It will be tough, we’re going to analyse the game and see what is the best way to go to Monaco.

“Now we know each other better, we are going to adjust, they are going to adjust... If we don’t score in Monaco, we will be eliminated.

“We are still alive and now we are going to rest in Abu Dhabi and we will come back and prepare for Huddersfield, the Premier League and our game in Monaco.”

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