Sunday, September 27, 2020

Champions League glory would take Man City to the ´next pedestal´, says Kyle Walker

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 14 Aug 2020

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Kyle Walker says winning the Champions League is imperative for putting Manchester City onto the “next pedestal”.

A 2-1 win at home to Real Madrid last week saw City reach the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier club competition courtesy of a 4-2 aggregate triumph in their delayed last-16 tie.

Domestically, it has been a trophy-laded decade for City, who have won the Premier League four times, the FA Cup twice and the EFL Cup on five occasions since 2011.

The Champions League has proven an elusive trophy, though, with a run to the semi-finals in the 2015-2016 season the furthest they have managed.

England full-back Walker, who joined from Tottenham ahead of the 2017-18 campaign, concedes his own ambitions have changed and feels winning the Champions League will put City on another level.

“I think if you had asked me this two years ago when I signed here, I would have probably said that the Premier League was the big one for me having not won it before,” he said.

“Now I have collected two of them and a number of others and this is the one that I want, and I can probably speak on behalf of the whole squad and Manchester City as well for what they need as a club to put them onto that next pedestal.”

City’s last-eight date with Lyon is being played in Lisbon as a straight-knockout game with UEFA altering the competition’s format due to the delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Walker acknowledges the different circumstances but insists City will not waver from their approach.

“It is a unique situation that we are in but I feel like we just have to attack it as we attack every game, whether that is in the Premier League, cups or Champions League,” he added.

“We feel that our team as a whole and the way that we play and our philosophy is going to stand us in good stead to get us to where we want to be in the tournament, which is the final.”

City’s defeat of LaLiga champions Madrid means they start as favourites but Lyon took four points off Pep Guardiola’s side in last season’s Champions League and defeated Serie A winners Juventus to get to this stage.

Walker says such facts prove Lyon are not a team to take lightly.

“I think [that] speaks volumes. This year they don’t have the players that they had when we played against them but you need to be a very good team, very disciplined, to beat Juventus over two legs,” he said.

“We are just going to use the gameplan, listen to the tactics from the boss and hopefully that will see us over the line.

“I feel it can swing our way in that it is over just the one leg and we can really attack the game and play every game like a final.”

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