Monday 16 September 2019

'Champions League is a step up' - Guardiola

Lyon 2 Manchester City 2

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates after scoring his side's 2nd goal. Photo: Laurent Cipriani/AP Photo
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates after scoring his side's 2nd goal. Photo: Laurent Cipriani/AP Photo

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Pep Guardiola felt Lyon were a step up from domestic opponents after Manchester City scrambled to a draw in the Champions League.

The Premier League leaders twice needed to come from behind as they were outplayed for large spells by the French side.

The result ensured City qualified for the last 16, but Guardiola felt the game should serve as another reminder of how tough competing in Europe can be.

The City manager said: “Today the Champions League showed me again that it’s a different competition, the players are better, the demands are so high.

“They have weapons on set-pieces, defensively are so strong, they have quality up front. When people say it’s easy for the Champions League, you cannot imagine how confused people are.

“After losing the first game, here was not a surprise.

Lyon's Kenny Tete in action with Manchester City's Raheem Sterling. Photo: John Sibling/Action Images via Reuters
Lyon's Kenny Tete in action with Manchester City's Raheem Sterling. Photo: John Sibling/Action Images via Reuters

“But in February we’ll be there, another year for City. We can focus on the Premier League and try to compete against the best teams in Europe when February comes.”

City twice fell behind to goals from the outstanding Maxwel Cornet, who also hit the woodwork, but responded with headed equalisers from Aymeric Laporte and Sergio Aguero.

“We showed personality. We got the point that we needed,” added Guardiola.

Manchester City's John Stones in action with Lyon's Nabil Fekir. Photo: Emmanuel Foudrot/Reuters
Manchester City's John Stones in action with Lyon's Nabil Fekir. Photo: Emmanuel Foudrot/Reuters

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