Manchester City will arrive tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Puskas Stadium in Budapest, where they will meet Borussia Mönchengladbach in the last eight of the Champions League final. This season, Pep Guardioli’s team looks more mature than ever for the trophy with the big ears and knows that on the way to it you have to cross difficult hurdles.
“I’m not one of those people who likes to say that experience necessarily helps you,” he began Pep Guardiola At the press conference on the eve of the match, “Football has shown us millions of examples of teams that have won the Champions League or the World Cup losing everything in 20 minutes. It’s just a game, you have to be focused for 90 minutes.”
The coach knows what he is talking about. Although his team played great football last season, the Blue Champions League is having a particularly difficult time. In fact, in the last three years the Citizens have failed to get through to the quarterfinals. What’s more, the Spanish coach last lifted the trophy a decade ago, when he was Barcelona coach. “Last year we played better and were relegated. This year we will try to play better and move on,” the coach said, trying to convey calm to his players. “There is nothing special or different, as there is no difference in the game against Burnley or Liverpool, this time the players will have to know Gladbach and Marco Rosa. Everything”.
City, who undoubtedly come as a favorite to face after an incredible 25-game unbeaten run in all competitions, know that despite the expectation from it to pass, the challenge against the Germans will be particularly complex. Pep chose to compliment his teammate on the lines of the rival who will move to Dortmund this summer: “He (Marco Rosa) is an exceptional coach. He did an amazing job in Salzburg and Gladbach and if Dortmund took him it shows how good he is,” he added about the squad. “Players with a lot of experience, Yena Somer is a wonderful goalkeeper who helps them build the game. They have a lot of quality in the center of the field. I respect the German teams and know how strong they are.”
Gladbach arrives at the game as she experiences a fickle season. On the one hand a huge success in the Champions League with an impressive promotion to the quarter-finals from a home that included Real Madrid, Inter and Shakhtar Donetsk, and on the other hand it is only in eighth place in the Bundesliga. Coach, Marco Rosa, Referring to his team’s problems this season when asked if he had received tips from his German friend Jürgen Klopp: “Lee and Lu (Klopp) have our troubles right now. If we were talking, it would not be about football.”
Rosa commented tactically on the tackle: “They are probably the best team in the world,” the coach said, adding, “City do not like the ball not these. But we will have to be prepared to defend at such a level that we will tolerate it.” Finally, the coach referred to his opponent, Pep: “He is a coach who has shaped teams and football for years. He is a coach at the highest level there is.”