July 22, 2017

Manchester City will not sit back and defend their first-leg advantage ―Guardiola

Sergio Aguero has scored six goals in his last five games, including two against Monaco on 21 February

MANCHESTER City will not sit back and defend their first-leg advantage when they face Monaco on Wednesday for a place in the Champions League quarter-finals, says manager Pep Guardiola.

City beat the French side 5-3 at the Etihad Stadium on 21 February.

Monaco have scored 123 goals in all competitions this season and Guardiola believes it would be foolish to let them attack.

“The best way [to defend] is score goals,” he said.

“When one team scores many goals and you think about just defending, you kill yourself. The idea is to try and attack.

“We scored five goals when it’s not easy to score against them. What you have to do is go to score goals.”

Guardiola, who takes charge of his 100th game in Europe on Wednesday, has no new injury concerns for the trip to Stade Louis II.

Striker Gabriel Jesus (foot) and midfielder Ilkay Gundogan (knee) are the only senior absentees.

Captain Vincent Kompany will hope to feature for only the second time since November.

Read more on Guardiola’s record-breaking evening

‘Our target is to score three goals’ – Monaco manager

Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim says his side will have to score three goals to be certain of qualifying.

A 2-0 win would be enough for the French side to go through but Jardim is wary of City’s attacking threat.

“It will be difficult,” he said. “One thing is sure, for us to qualify in our current state, we’ll need to score three goals. Two will not be enough. We will play with this target.”

Match stats – hope from history for Monaco?

  • Manchester City have never lost to French opposition in European competition (W2, D2).
  • Meanwhile, Monaco have come out on top in each of their three Champions League knockout ties with English clubs (v Manchester Utd in 1997-98, Chelsea in 2003-04 and Arsenal in 2014-15).
  • Monaco have lost six of their last eight Champions League knockout games (also W1, D1), with their only win in that time coming in London against Arsenal (3-1, February 2015).
  • There were 10 yellow cards handed out in the first leg at the Etihad Stadium; the most in a Champions League game this season.
  • Manchester City and Monaco have both only kept one clean sheet in this season’s Champions League: Only Real Madrid have had fewer (0) among teams in the round of 16 (also Napoli on one).

 

SOURCE: BBC SPORT

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