Manchester City ‘Still Are Not Ready’ to Win UCL, Says Pep Guardiola | Bleacher Report
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The Sky Blues are back in European action at home against Atalanta on Tuesday when they will look to win their third match from three in Group C.
While City have become one of Europe’s most impressive sides in the last decade, winning four of the last eight Premier League titles, their best Champions League campaign was when they made the semi-finals under Manuel Pellegrini in 2015-16.
Guardiola’s side are among the favourites to go all the way in Europe’s elite competition in 2019-20.
But after City returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday, the Spanish manager said his team’s wastefulness could cost them in Europe, per Ed Aarons of the Guardian:
“We missed a lot of chances and also lost a lot of chances in the box [against Palace]. We have to be clinical. The people say about the Champions League, that target. We still are not ready. We create a lot, don’t concede, but can improve. We’ve scored a lot over the last two seasons and I don’t have doubts about that, but we have to keep going, work on that.“
Guardiola, 48, won the Champions League twice with Barcelona during his four years in charge at the Camp Nou from 2008-12.
In three consecutive seasons at Bayern Munich, though, he could only get the German giants to the last four, and he has been unable to guide City even that far despite the superlative side he has built.
Goalscoring has not been an obvious problem for City under Guardiola.
In the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, when they won back-to-back league titles, they scored a combined 201 goals, and they already have 29 in nine league games this term, at least eight more than any other side.
Even their European exits have not been down to a lack of goals, but more to vulnerabilities at the back.
Their quarter-final tie with Tottenham Hotspur in 2018-19 ended 4-4, with City exiting on away goals. Meanwhile, City’s last-16 defeat to Monaco in 2016-17 came after a 6-6 aggregate draw with Monaco. Only in 2017-18 were Guardiola‘s side blown out of the competition when they lost 5-1 to Liverpool.