Man City boss Pep Guardiola predicting more thrills and spills against Monaco

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola shares a joke with Raheem Sterling during the training session at the City Football Academy, Manchester ahead of the Champions League second leg clash with Monaco
From Andy Hampson, Press Association Sport, Monaco

PEP Guardiola has told fans to prepare for another thriller as Manchester City look to see off Monaco in the Champions League.

City head into the second leg of their last-16 tie at the Stade Louis II with a 5-3 aggregate lead after a pulsating meeting at the Etihad Stadium last month.

But as he has previously warned, Guardiola does not think his team will be able to keep out the attacking might of the Ligue 1 leaders, who have scored 123 goals in all competitions this season.

He intends to take them on at their own game once again by urging his team to keep chasing goals.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Guardiola said: "When one team scores 124 goals (actually 123), it means they can score in many, many, many ways, so the best way is to score goals!

"Take the ball and attack as much as possible is the only way I know to beat this type of team.

"If one team scores 124 goals and you are thinking about only defending for 90 minutes because we won one game 5-3, you kill yourself.

"Monaco are a team created to attack and our team is created to attack, or at least to score goals, so in that way it will be a great game. I invite people to come here and see a good game. I am pretty sure of that."

Guardiola, who twice won the Champions League with Barcelona, admits he is unsure whether such an approach can carry City to ultimate success in the competition.

But despite the team's current defensive vulnerabilities, he is convinced it is the correct way to play.

He said: "I could not assure anyone (of success), even when we won the Champions League with Barcelona, or arrived in the semi-finals with Bayern Munich.

"But that way (is the only way) it is going to happen, it is the only way I know."

Asked if City had the potential to win the Champions League, Guardiola said: "I don't know. I would like to say yes, I trust the players a lot, I am so comfortable and I will not forget how they take care of me and give me everything to make this club better, but I don't know.

"I know how complicated the competition is. If you lose five minutes in the concentration you are out."

City's development in the Champions League has been slow with two group stage exits followed by two last-16 defeats before last year's run to the semi-finals.

But Guardiola is now convinced City belong on the elite stage and brushed aside a question on whether the club suffer from an inferiority complex.

He said: "Obviously we don't have the long history of other clubs but if we are able to go through to the quarter-finals it will only be the second time in the whole history for Manchester City. That means a lot in terms of history.

"We made a good group stage and the players have shown a lot of things in Europe last season and this season.

"To be here for us is a big success and we are going to try to make a good performance to go through. We are here because we deserve to be here."


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