Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has pledged to attack a swashbuckling Monaco once more in their Champions League last-16 tie – because he knows no other way.
City prevailed 5-3 in an incredible first leg at the Etihad Stadium despite falling behind twice either side of Radamel Falcao missing a penalty for the Ligue 1 leaders.
Leonardo Jardim’s men boast 123 goals across all competitions this season and experience tells Guardiola it could be fatal for City to sit on their lead.
“Even when I was at Barcelona and Bayern Munich I could not assure that we would win that Champions League,” he told a pre-match news conference.
“In that way [attacking] is the only way it can happen. It is the only way I know
“Monaco play to attack, our team play to attack. I’m pretty sure it is going to be a fantastic game.
“When a team scores 123 goals it is because they are able to score in many, many different ways.
“The best way [to beat them] is scoring goals – take the ball and attack as much as possible is the only way to play this kind of team.
“If in 90 minutes you are thinking about 5-3, you kill yourself.”
— Manchester City (@ManCity) March 14, 2017
Guardiola was a two-time Champions League winner as coach of Barcelona and has reached at least the semi-finals in each of his seven tilts at Europe’s premier competition.
However, he insists he is leaving ego aside as he puts that record on the line at the Stade Louis II, with City’s appearance in the final four last term representing their best Champions League return to date.
“Believe me, I am not thinking about me being seven times in a row in the semi-finals. I am here to help this club get into the next round and maybe another one,” he added.
“I am not here for private ambitions. I am here for one group of people [his players] to do better and better and better in competitions.
“I am satisfied with my personal success. What I wanted was a new club, to help them to be stable in Europe as many years as possible.
“When you see all our potential Champions League rivals they are top, top clubs. That is why I cannot answer saying we will win the Champions League.
“I would like to say yes. I trust my players, I am so comfortable. I will never forget how they take care of me and give me absolutely everything but I don’t know.”
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