Men's Team

We want to be 'alive' in all competitions - Guardiola

Pep Guardiola says his players want to come back from the international break still ‘alive’ in three competitions ahead of our crucial Champions League clash with RB Leipzig.

Victory in the second leg of our round-of-16 clash with the Bundesliga Club on Tuesday night would send us into the quarter-finals while we have an FA Cup sixth round tie with Burnley on Saturday.

With the race for the Premier League title set to intensify in the final months of the season, Guardiola says the squad are hungry to be challenging for trophies and added the Champions League is a special competition.

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“It’s really important [to be competing for trophies],” the boss said in his pre-match news conference.  

“It’s not just for a bad international break for the guys who don’t go to national teams, we want to be alive in three competitions. To have the pleasure of being in Europe and FA Cup and to be close to Arsenal.

“[The Champions League] is a lovely competition, so nice. Playing teams in another part of Europe, away from playing same teams and same stadiums in England. Of course, it’s special. It’s so nice to show our Club all around Europe.”

The Champions League clash is finely poised following the 1-1 draw in Germany when Riyad Mahrez’s first half strike was cancelled out by Josko Gvardiol’s second-half equaliser.

City beat Leipzig 6-3 in the Champions League when the two sides met at the Etihad Stadium last season but Guardiola is expecting a different game and says it’s important that his side impose our style on the game.

“When I saw the draw I said Leipzig were a really good team,” he said. “Napoli, Real Madrid, Liverpool - they are really good too - every team in this stage have qualities and strengths.

“Tomorrow in front of our people we have to impose ourselves and win the game. It’s easy, not how many goals, it’s just win the game and that’s what we have to do.”