Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola sent out a clear message to the opposition, Manchester City, ahead of their Champions League match on Tuesday. Guardiola insisted his side would be turning up at the Etihad for yet another win, despite already qualifying for the knockout rounds as the top team from the group.
Bayern are eight points clear with two games to play, whereas City are in last place desperately needing a win to have any hopes of grabbing second place ahead of Roma and CSKA Moscow. But Guardiola insisted his team would not be doing City any favours.
‘We can’t just be here for fun,’ he said. ‘We have come here to play. It’s very important for the club. At the end of the day, we are Bayern Munich.
‘We’re very happy that we are through to the knockout rounds. The Champions League is very prestigious competition, and that goes for the club, me as coach and the players. But we want to produce a performance.’
‘To play football we need tension, we need something to fight for,’ he added. ‘You have to be a little bit afraid and, from that point of view, Manchester City have an advantage.
‘The game for them is more important than our game, but we always find the right way, something to be motivated, to be a competitive team. We have to defend our club.
‘We can’t find the tension, the power or the joy to qualify with the three points because the job is done. So we have to find these kinds of tricks to focus on our game tomorrow.’
Guardiola Hails Messi
Former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola sung the praises of Barcelona star Lionel Messi after the latter broke the all-time La Liga scoring record by netting a hat-trick against Sevilla on the weekend to take his total to 253.
Guardiola, who managed Messi for four years from 2008-2012 while at Barcelona, insisted that Messi’s record wouldn’t be broken any time soon.
Pep stated: “He is only 27 years old and he has already beaten the record. His record will not last for 60 years, but 600 years.
“I hope that Messi will end his career with Barcelona, because he has given so much to the club and he loves the club.”
David Alaba joins the lengthy injury list at the Allianz Arena, along with captain Philipp Lahm. Badstuber, Alcantara, Martinez and Pepe Reina remain the long-term casualties.
German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger could return to the side for his first Champions League match this season after a long injury layoff. The likes of Shaqiri and Dante could get some much-needed game time.
Xabi Alonso Labels Manchester City Squad As “One Of The Best In Europe”
Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso also spoke to the media, and hailed the City squad as one of the best in Europe despite their troubles in the Champions League.
‘You are trying to buy success, but there are big surprises in football,’ said Alonso. ‘As well as that, you’ve got to do things properly. If you do things properly, you will have success. What happened that year with Liverpool was a really great surprise. We enjoyed it but it was very different from what is going on at Manchester City.’
He said: ‘They have important players suspended but as a whole it is one of the best squads in Europe.
‘It is hard to tell from the outside but you expect any season that City will make that impact in Europe. Even though it looks a difficult situation for them, it could change in 90 minutes. We will have to do our job.’