Monday 19 March 2018

Guardiola insists keeping clean sheet 'impossible'

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: PA
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: PA

Jamie Holland

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola labelled his side "lucky" after they came from behind twice to secure a thrilling 5-3 victory over Monaco in last night's Champions League round of 16, first leg clash at the Etihad.

Raheem Sterling opened the scoring for the hosts, but City trailed 2-1 and 3-2 before storming back to win in the Champions League last-16 first-leg clash.

After a breathless 90 minutes, Guardiola said: "Many things happen. A lot of things happen. In the moment we were lucky and we were stable mentally. It is not easy to play against a team (that are as) quick (as) they are, (as) good.

"We saw Monaco (tonight) so we're going to have to score goals there. It will be almost impossible (to keep a clean sheet). They're able to score two or three or four goals, but okay it's a good result."

Sergio Aguero felt he should have been awarded a penalty when the sides were 1-1 but was penalised for diving. To compound matters 18-year-old Kylian Mbappe blasted the visitors ahead just before the break. Radamel Falcao saw his tame second-half penalty saved by Willy Caballero before Aguero drew the hosts level. Falcao redeemed himself with an exquisite chip before Aguero sparked the recovery mission.

"It was end-to-end stuff and at the end of the day Monaco gave us a real tough game," said Sterling. "I was impressed with the way they kept scoring.

John Stones, who scored City's fourth - his first Champions League goal - reflected on "great team spirit, great desire and great goals from us".

"I thought I needed to make amends for what happened at other end so to get a goal on a personal level was delightful."

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport