Guardiola: Champions League semi-last 2d leg more difficult than the last
Pep Guardiola believes his Manchester Metropolis gamers are facing the toughest job in European football as they resolve on Paris Saint-Germain within the semi-finals of the Champions League.
2nd-half of targets from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez noticed Metropolis arrive from within the support of to insist a 2-1 soak up Paris last week, placing them in prime region to reach their first last in Europe’s high competitors.
Guardiola is a two-time winner dating aid to his Barcelona tenure a decade ago, but is conscious of the semi-last stage is also in particular unforgiving.
Inter and Chelsea ended Barca’s title defences on the penultimate hurdle in 2010 and 2012, whereas LaLiga heavyweights Accurate Madrid, Barca and Atletico accounted for Bayern Munich within the semis across Guardiola’s three seasons in Bavaria.
“From my skills, the semi-last is commonly complicated,” he advised a pre-match news conference, having confirmed Metropolis enjoy all senior gamers available other than aid-up defender Eric Garcia, who's plagued by a sickness bug.
“You play with the end result of the predominant leg, you play with the solutions here [thinking] last, last, last. Most frequently that it is possible you'll neglect what or now not it could well probably perchance well be needed to attain.
“Continually in my skills the 2d leg of the semi-last is the complicated one. The last is exclusively varied, it doesn’t indicate it’s simpler, it’s exclusively varied.”
Not that Guardiola feels his earlier years sampling the highs and lows of the Champions League will enjoy worthy bearing in opposition to Mauricio Pochettino’s aspect, nor Metropolis’s enjoy trials, having in the end snapped a plug of three consecutive quarter-last exits.
“I don’t know if it works in this competitors, in this moment, skills,” he said.
“I’d steal to feel we’ve realized from our defeats but I don’t know the diagram we’re going to react – it’s always a thriller.
“The frustration we had, in particular within the last two seasons within the quarter-finals in opposition to Spurs and Lyon, being here again is nice.
“I’d like to insist we’d realized from that but maybe the next day we are in a position to play a depraved game. At the an analogous time, what I deem staunch away is we’ll attain a fanciful game and reach the last.
“That is my feeling, but when the opposite ones are better we congratulate the opponent. We don’t deserve to leave out this likelihood by now not being ourselves. I’ve a feeling we are going to attain smartly.”
Guardiola has regularly urged Metropolis to “be who we are” within the face of crunch moments this season – an reach that has left them on the point of a third Premier League title in four makes an are trying and secured a fourth consecutive EFL Cup.
It was also a characteristic of his team talks as Metropolis turned spherical half of-time deficits a ways from home in opposition to Borussia Dortmund and PSG to lie inner touching distance of a maiden Champions League last.
Having been accused, generally unfairly, of over-pondering predominant European nights in his profession, a yearning to support things straightforward looks to be Guardiola’s mantra this time spherical.
“Most frequently, in these form of video games, you don’t need worthy emotions. Launch to be more mute and know exactly what or now not it could well probably perchance well be needed to attain,” he said.
“I don’t deserve to say someone what we’ve lived thru for 11 months, now not factual gamers – the backroom team, the physios, the doctors, the cooks. All people is conscious of how important it is and the best diagram we now enjoy been having a look, for heaps of, many years, for this moment.”
Guardiola added: “We spoke plenty the earlier day and this day about who we are, what we now deserve to attain. It’s now not mandatory to talk more about PSG on story of we played in opposition to them one week ago.
“I talk about us, us and us and what we now deserve to attain. We're going to are trying to attain it.”