Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pep: Champions League the ultimate test



Pep: Champions League the ultimate test

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Pep Guardiola says the Champions League poses a tougher challenge than any other competition. His City side twice came from behind against Lyon on Tuesday night. AFP

Pep: Champions League the ultimate test

MANCHESTER City manager Pep Guardiola said the Champions League poses a tougher challenge than any other competition after his side salvaged a 2-2 draw at Lyon on Tuesday to qualify for the knockout phase.

The Premier League leaders clinched a place in the last 16 for the sixth season in a row as headers from Aymeric Laporte and Sergio Aguero helped City twice recover after falling behind to goals from Maxwel Cornet.

City need a point from their final game at home to eliminated Hoffenheim to secure top spot in Group F, although they were fortunate to avoid a second defeat by Lyon – the only team to score more than once against them this
season.

“Today the Champions League showed me again that it’s another different competition and especially for one reason. The players are better,” said Guardiola.

“That’s why every time we think about the Champions League and people say it’s easy for Manchester City, they are really confused about this.

“Words are words. The people who say this never saw a game of Lyon, a game of

Hoffenheim, or a game of Shakhtar.”

‘It’s tough in France’

City set a Premier League record with 100 points as they strolled to the title last term, and are again setting the pace this season having scored 40 times in 13 matches while conceding on just five occasions.

“You have time in the Premier League, you have 38 games. Here you have 90 minutes, 180 minutes – you make mistakes and they punish you,” said Guardiola.

Lyon already trail Paris Saint-Germain by 15 points in Ligue 1 after just 14 matches, but Bruno Genesio’s side once again pushed City all the way having beaten them 2-1 in the reverse fixture in September.

“People say in France it’s just PSG. But they don’t know how tough it is in France.

“The league is so complicated, so good, so that’s why I give a lot of credit for the result and the performance today,” said Guardiola.

“I’m really impressed about the amount of good young talent here in France. [Lyon are] strong and they have vision. The people in front – [Memphis] Depay, [Nabil] Fekir . . . it’s a team that’s well organised but that’s typical in the Champions League.”

“Now we can focus on the Premier League and other competitions and try to arrive in February with everyone fit and try to compete against the best 16 teams in Europe,” he added.

Lyon need to avoid defeat at Shakhtar Donetsk in their final game to join City in the last 16 after the Ukrainians scored a stoppage-time winner to earn a 3-2 victory at Hoffenheim and keep their qualification hopes alive.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the