Manchester City will need the ´perfect game´ against Liverpool

Adjust Comment Print

Pep Guardiola has challenged his Manchester City side to play "the ideal game" to defeat Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-final second leg at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.

A spot in the Champions League semifinals, with Liverpool looking like the heavy favorite following the convincing 3-0 win over City in last week's first leg.

"We will think about how many goals we score after we get the first one". To win titles we need nights like... to beat Barcelona last season was so special because we know Barcelona is the best team in the world and you create something by beating them.

"My team is extraordinary, it is not comparable to others, it is top".

The German manager's reaction after that second-half collapse could serve as the ideal warning to his team ahead of their trip to the Etihad.

"[Liverpool] are a team who fight for the ball and try to keep the players in the middle but we will be ready for tomorrow's game". For the next step maybe we need more time. We lost here 5-0 in the beginning of the season. We have very often created a lot of chances in short periods of time and we have to be clinical.

Regarding the potential mental damage done by back-to-back defeats, Guardiola said: "I don't know but if we are not able to do it, it will be a good lesson for the future". It is a test, football like life is a challenge. I will be close to them no matter what happens between now and the end of the season. We are only in the lead.

He answered that question in the build up to Liverpool's crucial second leg quarterfinal fixture against Manchester City on Tuesday.

But Tuesday night offers Guardiola and City the chance to show that his pursuit of perfection does have a reachable final destination. Missiles were thrown at at City's bus last week, with the damage bad enough to remove the vehicle from commission for the trip home.

But he looked fit and healthy as the City players trained at the CFA under the watchful eye of Pep Guardiola.

There will, though, be an increased security presence.

Aldridge believes Klopp will retain his three-man attacking formation, even if Salah fails to shake off his injury in time to start at the Etihad Stadium as he suggests Solanke or Ings may be called into action against City. Guardiola is not accustomed to losing football games, let alone two in the space of four days, so the scrutiny he was about to face was a relatively unusual experience for him.