Mens Team

Guardiola salutes ‘more aggressive’ attacking display

PEP TALK: The boss passes on his instructions from the touchline.
Pep Guardiola says he expects Manchester City’s fortunes in front of goal to improve as he hailed his side’s attacking efforts in the 1-0 win over Olympiakos.

Phil Foden’s first half strike proved the difference in Greece and booked City’s place in the last 16 of the Champions League with two group games left to play.

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Despite dominating for the entire 90 minutes, a second goal proved elusive and while Guardiola has spoken of his desire for us to improve our goalscoring, he felt he saw more of what he expected in the final third.

“Sooner or later,” he said when asked if he thought City were close to getting back to our best in attack.

“Today we were much more aggressive to the goal. It is not easy when there are nine players defending.

“We put our wingers closer to the striker. All of them, Bernardo [Silva], Phil [Foden], Raz [Sterling], were so aggressive.

“[Benjamin] Mendy and Joao [Cancelo] were outstanding too. [Ilkay] Gundogan and Rodri as well. In general, the performance was of a top, top level.”

It was one-way traffic at the Karaiskaki Stadium, where the home side failed to register a single shot on target and Guardiola was equally impressed with his team’s defensive efforts.

In particular, the boss reserved special praise for John Stones, who stood out on  what was his fifth appearance of the season.

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“Our pressing was so good,” Guardiola added.

“They made long balls and we won them. Our central defenders were outstanding.

“John Stones, [deserves an] incredibly big compliment because it is not easy when you have not played for a long time and alongside Ruben [Dias] they made an incredible couple. I am especially happy for him.

“Everyone was so committed. We attacked with more desire to shoot and to score the crosses.

"Now we recover as good as possible and start to focus on the Premier League.”

With last 16 qualification secure, City are now firm favourites to top Group C and Guardiola admitted he has been delighted with the form which has seen us register four consecutive victories in Europe.

“We made an incredible group stage,” said the manager.

“Especially our two games away, the second half against Porto and the first half against Olympiakos at home.

“We will see tonight the result of Marseille and Porto. We made an incredible performance.

"Unfortunately, we could only score one goal, but the team is alive.”

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