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

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the