Monday, September 20, 2021

Guardiola: Man City loss to Chelsea in Champions League final was not a failure

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 14 Sep 2021

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Pep Guardiola denied Manchester City’s loss to Chelsea in last season’s Champions League final was a failure, insisting it was an “incredible achievement”.

European club football’s biggest prize continues to elude City, who underwhelmed in a 1-0 loss to the Blues in Porto back in May.

Guardiola has not won the Champions League since doing so with Barcelona in 2011, but he views City’s campaign in last season’s competition as a success.

Ahead of their opening fixture of this year’s tournament with RB Leipzig on Wednesday, Guardiola said: “Every time I start this competition with drive. I’m incredibly happy here.

“Man City made a step forward last season, we improved a lot. We had 13 games and we won 11. We played incredibly well in Porto when we drew and deserved to win.

“We lost the final. People can say Man City was a failure but it was an incredible achievement last season playing really well in many of the games and losing well against a big contender.

“Now we start a new one and every team wants to win. We’re going to try but I won’t tell you which team is going to win because I don’t know it.

“We’re going to train this afternoon and try to continue the rhythm from Norwich, Arsenal and Leicester.

“The most important thing for the club is we were always in this competition in the last years. We do really well, which is why we deserve to be there.

“After that, compete with the best teams in Europe. It is not guaranteed that if you do a really bad Champions League season you’re going to do a really bad Champions League season again and it is the same with the opposite.

“The first target is to win tomorrow, try to continue the rhythm and the way we played last season and the last three games, and see what happens.”

Asked if the expectation of needing to win the Champions League annoys him, Guardiola replied: “I accept it. Every year is the same. If I win the Champions League I will be happy for the club. If I’m not able to do it, I’m not able.

“After, you can judge the success of my period. I try to do my best every single day, winning or not winning. People judge my job like I judge my players and how incredibly they’ve done in the last five years.”

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