The Cityzens gaffer insists that they are far behind from challenging the Champions League.
Manchester City turned around their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg tie against Schalke after the German side ended the first half 2-1. Schalke’s Nabil Bentaleb scored two penalties against City as the Cityzens were reduced to 10 men after a second yellow to Nicolas Otamendi.
Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling then scored in quick successions to take the win from the hands of the German club but their boss Pep Guardiola insists that they are yet not ready to challenge the UCL title.
Guardiola said, “The result is incredible, three goals away, but we gave away the goals and the red card.”
“In this level we don’t have a chance. Still we are not ready to fight for the Champions League. After the red card maybe if they’d pushed more and scored a third or fourth then maybe we’re out,” he said.
He added, “It is not over. Hopefully our fans can help us in the second leg and hopefully we can improve for the future. We played good, but we lost some easy balls that we’re not allowed to do in the competition.”
The first penalty by Schalke was awarded after a lengthy and farcical VAR delay. The official spent longer than usual analysing if Otamendi had handled the long-range shot. Though nothing was clear as the Referee awarded the spot kick and Otamendi was shown his first yellow card of the night.
“I’m a big fan of VAR,” added Guardiola. “The second one is a penalty too. It was offside too – so, if we complain about VAR maybe it was offside, but it was a penalty and the red card can be a red card.
“VAR needs time. Next time it will be better,” said Pep.
City will have the advantage of three away goals as they will host the German club on 12th March 2019.
But Guardiola added, “It’s not over. We gave too much to the opponent to be in the game. The game was good, the second half we played with incredible personality. Like at Anfield when we lost 3-0.”
“The game was played good, in the end, the quality was from Leroy (Sane) – the big players have the quality. The action from Raheem delivered too.”
Manchester City have a crucial phase up ahead as they face Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday.