Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola has admitted his players must keep their discipline and produce the “perfect” performance to beat Barcelona in the Champions League at Etihad today. Guardiola’s side lost 4-0 in their Group C encounter against the Spanish giants at the Nou Camp on October 19 –- their fifth defeat in as many meetings with the Catalan club.
City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was sent off in that match and Guardiola acknowledged the importance of keeping 11 players on the pitch against a side of Barcelona’s class.
“We know we need to play almost perfectly,” Guardiola, who guided Barcelona to two Champions League titles while manager from 2008-12 after starring for the club as a player, said yesterday.
”It’s always difficult in the Champions League. Ten versus 11 against Barcelona is almost impossible. We have to improve that otherwise it is impossible to achieve the target.
“I have never thought we can’t win a football match and I will never start to think that way, even though we lost 4-0. We’ll give it a go.
“We know it is difficult and they are a difficult opponent.
“Maybe we are going to change the way we press, the build-up, many things.
“I would like to play in a good level. What passed in Barcelona, that is not the reason for what it is going to happen here.
“We have to be focused in 90 minutes knowing they are going to provoke our mistakes with the quality they have.
In that moment we try to keep going and finish better than in Barcelona.”