Men's Team

Guardiola: I still believe

PEP WATCH: The manager observes from the touchline.
Pep Guardiola believes his team are capable of turning around the three-goal deficit suffered in defeat to Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-final first leg.

The Blues were rattled by a trio of first-half goals at Anfield and a valuable away goal evaded City in the second-half despite a much-improved performance.

But the manager has seen enough from his players in our record-breaking campaign to believe that his side can produce a comeback at the Etihad Stadium in six days’ time.

“I believe a lot in my team. They've shown me so many good things over the season,” said Pep.

READ: City on back foot after Anfield defeat

“The result is so tough. We cannot deny it.

“But we have 90 minutes more and we're going to try it. Of course, it’s so complicated because we’re going to play a top top team but we’re going to try it.”

City fell behind to a Mo Salah goal on 12 minutes, before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain doubled Liverpool’s lead and Sadio Mané added a third on the half-hour mark.

                        PROBING: Leroy Sané looks to find a breakthrough at Anfield.
PROBING: Leroy Sané looks to find a breakthrough at Anfield.

And Guardiola believes that the goals came despite a positive City start.

“We showed up in the beginning of the game. We were there. Our first minutes - which are always important to see how the team is - we arrived with a huge personality.

“Except 10/15 minutes in the first half when we lost a bit of control, when Robertson and Alexander arrived, from my point of view we did really well.

“Here in Anfield it’s always complicated. I think until the 2-0 we were there. There was a mistake in our first goal and after we didn’t defend quite well in our box.

“The second time they arrived they scored a fantastic goal from Chamberlain. It's always tough. In the second half we reacted and we did it well.

“We didn’t create clear chances because they defended deep. We were there for the last pass and the last control. We needed one goal but we couldn’t score it.”

Ilkay Gundogan came in for Raheem Sterling in the starting line-up, and the manager explained that a need for control in midfield was the thinking behind the switch.

“I wanted more passing, more control,” he said.

“Gundo is very good at arriving in the second line to the boxes and we wanted to have more control in the midfield players. That’s why we tried that.”

City face Manchester United on Saturday and three points will seal the Premier League title in record time, and Guardiola insists that his side will move on from defeat on Merseyside.

“We have to accept it,” he said. “Now in two days we have United at home, then two days later we have Liverpool at home. We’ll see what happens.”

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