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02-Nov-2020, 09:59 pm

'It’s tough, really tough' - Harder than ever for Man City to claim maiden Champions League title, insists Guardiola


Pep Guardiola Manchester City

Pep Guardiola has claimed this season's Champions League will be more difficult than ever for Manchester City to win.

Guardiola, who twice won the Champions League as Barcelona head coach, was appointed City manager with a remit to bring European silverware to the club.

Under the Catalan they have consistently reached the knockout phase but have never progressed beyond the quarter-final stage, and ahead of their Group C clash with Olympiacos on Tuesday, Guardiola acknowledged the quest to become European championsseems to become more of a challenge with each passing season.

"It’s tough, really tough. There’s many examples to prove what I’m saying,"Guardiola told a media conference on Monday. "There are more games with managers better prepared, more games where they know what they have to do. Teams are better.

"There is more money everywhere not just a few clubs, a lot of clubs have the possibility to spend and buy players, and there are important managers.

"It’s difficult. Last season, Atalanta, look what happened, semi-finals of the Champions League, and the Italian league was incredible. Shakhtar Donetsk, look what happened and now in Real Madrid and a draw against Inter. It ridiculous, this didn’t exist before. It doesn’t matter where you go.

"It's hard to qualify for the knockout stage, every time we qualify I say to players 'congratulations, enjoy that moment' but it’s the first success of the season, to qualify for the next round."

Guardiola won his two previous Champions League matches against Olympiacos, emerging victorious3-0 away and 4-0 at home as Bayern Munich manager in the 2015-16 season.

His City side are unbeaten in their last 13 games in the group stage of the competition, winning five of the six games at the Etihad Stadium.

Even though City are currently top of Group C after a 3-1 home win over Porto and a 3-0 away victory over Marseille, Guardiola says his players must retain their focus.

He said: "It’s difficult every game. Even with the pandemic, the situation is more uncertain with all the clubs. You can go away and struggle, go away where you have to do a good game to beat them.

"At home as well, it’s a tricky competition, it’s why I’m delighted so far, we cannot miss this chance to get nine points and be in a position, just one more step, 16 best teams in Europe, this is the target,


Source : goal.com

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