MX23RW : Wednesday, March 20 05:42:46
Mar 12, 2019 at 8pm UK at ​Etihad Stadium
Attendance: 51,518
Man CityManchester City
7-0
SchalkeSchalke 04
Aguero (35' pen., 38'), Sane (43'), Sterling (56'), Silva (71'), Foden (78'), Jesus (84')
FT(HT: 3-0)

No easy ride despite Real exit - Guardiola

No easy ride despite Real exit - Guardiola
© Reuters
Manchester City hold a 3-2 lead over Schalke going into the second leg of their last-16 tie.

Pep Guardiola insists Real Madrid's exit does not make Manchester City's task in the Champions League any easier.

The holders were surprisingly eliminated by Ajax at the last-16 stage last week, while another fancied side in Paris St Germain were also beaten.

But Guardiola, who maintains his team are still a junior outfit in European terms, says that does not mean the competition is opening up for quadruple-chasing City.

Guardiola said: "If people think Real Madrid is out so it will be easy, it's because they still don't understand this competition.

"Of course, it's incredible – four times winner in five years, three in a row. It's the best team in the last decade. It's incredible what they have done. I thought they were the favourites.

"Hopefully we can be in the quarter-finals but the teams will be of a similar level to Real Madrid because they are top."

City still have work to do to secure a quarter-final place after requiring a late fightback – with 10 men – to beat Schalke 3-2 in the first leg of their last-16 tie. The sides meet again at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.

Guardiola said: "I think a week ago we didn't expect PSG would happen, or Real Madrid.

Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester United – UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 – Second Leg – Parc des Princes
Cross-city rivals Manchester United celebrated a famous come-from-behind victory to stun Paris St Germain (John Walton/PA)

"People say there is nothing to do but one red card, one goal in the first minute – many things can happen in 90 minutes in this kind of competition.

"I would say we are quite lucky that we played 10 v 11 for 23 or 24 minutes 2-1 down. Normally, in those circumstances today you are almost out of this competition. We were lucky, really. We still have a job to do."

City have won three Premier League titles since 2012 but are still to transfer their domestic success to the European stage.

They are yet to progress beyond the quarter-finals under Guardiola and their best showing remains their run to the semi-finals in 2016.

Guardiola said: "We are teenagers in this competition, that's what I feel but we want to win it, we push ourselves. The best way is to feel this kind of pressure.

"We have to dream and point as high as possible. At the same time, we have to accept there are other teams thinking the same with a lot of quality and a lot of talent."

Guardiola believes City fans' love of the Champions League is growing. The supporters have been slow to embrace the competition, not helped by their open dislike of organisers UEFA, which manifests itself in the booing of the anthem.

Guardiola said: "I think the last time there were less boos. My feeling is now the people are starting to enjoy this competition. They are feeling like we can do it together. That is what we want."

Guardiola, who dismissed reports linking him with Juventus at the weekend, reiterated his determination to see out his contract with City.

"I have two more years, I'm going to be here and the future (after that) I don't know," he said.


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Manchester City celebrate a goal from Raheem Sterling against Watford in the Premier League on March 9, 2019.
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914

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