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Guardiola: When you attack well, you defend well

WATCHING ON: Pep and Karanka observe from the touchline.

WATCHING ON: Pep and Karanka observe from the touchline.

Boss Pep Guardiola maintained attack is the best form of defence after Manchester City secured an FA Cup semi-final place with victory over Boro.

Goals from Sergio Aguero and David Silva, plus a third consecutive clean sheet, made for a happy manager after full time at the Riverside.

Guardiola said: “We are so happy to be there (in semi-final). We’ve played most of our games away against three teams from the Premier League and one of the best in the Championship so it’s a huge compliment to the team.

“We made a good performance, we were there from the beginning. The game should be over 30 minutes before but we missed a few chances. It was similar for Middlesbrough at home, we created a lot of chances in the first half but didn’t score. Maybe you need that to improve, to get better. We’ll recover now and get ready for the game in France.

“When you attack good, you defend good. We defend 40m away, we want to play in that way. I always believe that when the ball is far away from our goal, we are safe.

“It’s good for the team for their confidence, not just the goal but before the two or three chances they had. Claudio (Bravo) made another good performance, three or four saves and that’s why we were able to have another clean sheet, it’s really good for us.”

Report: Boro 0 City 2

There is little time to reflect on the victory with Wednesday’s Champions League last 16 second leg game against Monaco looming large.

Guardiola added: “I’m confident ahead of Monaco, but not for the result. I’m confident because I am pleased the most as I like to work with these guys, I’m so happy.

“The training is always happy. We’d like to go through, but we cannot forget the team we are going to play. Their attack is the best, by far. In terms of results, I think they’ve scored 100 goals in all competitions. It will be tough but we’ll try to play our game and try to be one of the best eight teams in Europe.”

First Team News

Boro v Man City: Team news and tactics

START: Raheem Sterling

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola made five changes to his line-up for the FA Cup quarter-final clash with Middlesbrough at the Riverside.

David Silva, Raheem Sterling, John Stones, Pablo Zabaleta and goalkeeper Claudio Bravo returned to the starting XI as the Blues aim to book a place at Wembley.

Media Watch

Leroy Sane on the FA Cup and teasing ‘uncle’ Yaya

AWWYEAH: Yaya Toure is mobbed by Leroy Sane, and flashes a cheeky smile to the City fans!

Leroy Sane is quickly becoming a fans’ favourite at Man City, and he’s hit the headlines again.

The German winger is in red-hot form for the Blues and in an interview with BBC’s Football Focus, he’s been discussing how he has settled in – and his teasing of Yaya Toure!

First Team News

Middlesbrough v Man City: Talking points

DETERMINED: Aguero fires an effort at goal but he can't beat Valdes

A Wembley appearance is the prize for the victor when Manchester City face Middlesbrough in Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final, but what subplots are also on the pre-match agenda?

Raheem Sterling, stubborn Boro and new competition rule all feature in our considerations.