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Dublin: 8°C Sunday 25 October 2020

That is why Manchester City wanted me - Guardiola

The Etihad outfit won an eight-goal game against Monaco, with the manager claiming he was brought to the club for nights such as this.

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola, Manchester City.

PEP GUARDIOLA SAYS Manchester City’s astonishing 5-3 Champions League victory over Monaco was a “special game,” which explains why his club wanted him to join them.

The City boss enjoyed one of the best moments of his debut season at the helm as his side came from behind to score three times in the last 19 minutes at the Etihad Stadium to win a thrilling first leg on Tuesday.

The result makes Guardiola’s men favourites to reach the quarter-finals when the second leg of the last-16 tie is played in Monaco next month.

Guardiola feels such an entertaining match is what City wanted when they brought him to the club from Bayern Munich and felt his strategy coming up against that of Leonardo Jardim was the perfect blend to produce a classic.

We attacked in small spaces, we defended huge spaces behind,” Guardiola said at his post-match media conference.

“That is why they wanted me to come here — I love to play in that way, I think it is something special when two teams play in that way, attack and attack. In the end the football is marvellous.

“It was a special game, I cannot deny that. Ups and downs. We attacked quite good, our build-up was quite slow, but it was not easy because Monaco are so organised.

“I would like to see how many teams are able to get a clean sheet against Monaco this season. They have fantastic players.

They always arrived with six, seven players and I haven’t seen a team attack with so many good players for a long time.

“We understood immediately they are going to attack with runs in behind. It is so, so difficult but we created a lot of chances and I don’t know if Monaco have seen a team create as many chances as we did against them.”

Guardiola paid tribute to Willy Caballero for a pivotal penalty save from Radamel Falcao early in the second half, which prevented City from going 3-1 down.

He added: “In that moment 1-3 mentally would have been so tough, but Willy made an excellent penalty save.

Everybody has to be congratulated. We are a little bit happier than my Monaco colleague but if it is 2-0 [in Monaco] we are out.

“Now we are going to rest in Abu Dhabi and we will come back and prepare for Huddersfield, the Premier League and our game in Monaco.”

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