Mens Team

Ilkay Gundogan: One-legged ties more difficult

Ilkay Gundogan: One-legged ties more difficult
Ilkay Gundogan expects the single leg knockout format of the Champions League final eight tournament to be more difficult than the two-legged affairs we traditionally see at this stage of the competition.

Manchester City face Olympique Lyonnais in the quarter-finals on Saturday 15 August, which will be decided over one game in Lisbon rather than with the normal home and away fixtures.

The new arrangement has been introduced to allow UEFA’s flagship club cup to be completed during the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue through to the final.

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Gundogan says the change will create a unique experience for players and, with no margin for error, he accepts luck could well play a part in deciding games.

“It’s going to be a whole new experience,” he admitted. “It’s going to be nearly like a World Cup.

“Playing one leg makes it even more difficult. The amount of mistakes you are able to do is the absolute minimum. There is not really room for mistakes. We should be very careful.

“I think we have proven in the past that we are ready to take on these kinds of games and we will try again.

“Maybe we will need a bit of luck.”

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Whether good fortune is required or not, Gundogan is determined to embrace the challenge of the newly designed format.

The 29-year-old acknowledges that achieving success is about overcoming difficult obstacles and cannot fail to be excited by the prospect of the final eight tournament, something he feels will also extend to supporters.

“It is going to be very different, but I’m sure it will be exciting, for us, for the other teams, but also for the spectators,” he added.

“At the end someone will win the Champions League and of course we’ll try to do our best to be in that position.

“It is not going to be easy. It will be challenging. But in our sport, we are playing these kind of games to be challenged, so it’s going to be exciting.”

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