‘That’s the reality’: Pep Guardiola insists Man City aren’t ready to ‘fight for Champions League latter stages’ despite comeback win at Schalke
- Pep Guardiola insisted Man City aren’t ready for Champions League latter stages
- City have got one foot in the quarter-finals after beating Schalke with 10 men
- Despite the victory, Guardiola played down their chances of progressing further
- He said: ‘There were too many bad things. We aren’t ready. That’s just the reality’
Pep Guardiola has downplayed Manchester City’s chances of reaching the latter stages of the Champions League despite their remarkable comeback win at Schalke.
City’s 10 men produced a stunning turnaround in Germany on Wednesday evening, having fallen behind to two Nabil Bentaleb penalties after Sergio Aguero had given them the lead.
Leroy Sane came back to haunt his old club by coming off the bench to hit a spectacular free-kick before Raheem Sterling grabbed a dramatic last-gasp winner to put City in the ascendancy of the last-16 tie.
Pep Guardiola played down Man City’s chances of advancing further in the Champions League
Historically, City have not fared well in this competition but despite already having one foot in the quarter-finals, Guardiola has insisted his side are still not equipped to go all the way this season on the basis of Wednesday’s performance.
He told BT Sport: ‘It was a great result, we gave the first penalty, we gave the second penalty, we gave the red card, so that competition is not good, too much things, so still we’re not ready to fight for the latter stages, that’s the reality, but the result is really good.
‘We played good, we started really well, but still we lost some easy balls when we’re not allowed to do that in this competition.’
Raheem Sterling scored a winner at the death as City beat Schalke in the last-16 first leg
Leroy Sane scored a stunning free-kick against former side minutes earlier to level the scores
Despite the contentious decision to award Schalke’s first penalty, which saw the referee unable to review the off-pitch video monitor and VAR deliberate over the incident for four minutes, Guardiola surprisingly defended the technology after the game.
He added: ‘I trust VAR, i’m a big fan of that, penalty is a penalty. I have arguments sometimes, but not this one, I think it’s penalty first one, second one, and red card.
‘We gave two goals when they didn’t do absolutely anything. The game was quite good, in the end the quality was from Leroy.’
Despite the win Guardiola said: ‘We’re not ready to fight for the latter stages, that’s the reality’