Pep Guardiola takes pride in Man City defence and knows importance ahead of Atletico Madrid game

Following final week’s first leg, dialog round Pep Guardiola’s dinner desk turned to Atletico Madrid and the high quality artwork of defending.

The outcome of Diego Simeone’s plan – to stifle Manchester City, with a formation bordering two banks of 5 – was deemed a job effectively finished in Spain. 

Others, particularly Marco van Basten, hammered Simeone’s techniques. Still, Atletico remained effectively and really in the tie and on Wednesday night time welcome City to the capital with simply the one-goal deficit.

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City are miserly in defence and incredibly tough to breach

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are miserly in defence and extremely powerful to breach

Atletico Madrid are renowned for their rearguard action but City are just as impressive

Atletico Madrid are famend for his or her rearguard motion however City are simply as spectacular

Ruben Dias and Co limit the opposition chances and Atletico will need to attack more

Ruben Dias and Co restrict the opposition probabilities and Atletico might want to assault extra

Among associates in a metropolis centre restaurant, Guardiola puzzled aloud about that narrative, the noise round Simeone. The statistics, of which City’s supervisor devours after matches, learn that Atletico had not registered a single shot on aim or gained a nook.

To Guardiola, that constituted a defensive masterclass towards an opposition boasting Joao Felix and Antoine Griezmann that may devastate on the break. He has since been happy with how Liverpool had been restricted to a solitary nook on Sunday, declaring that they usually common ‘five or six’. 

Defensive knowledge issues an amazing deal to the person considered by such a special prism to Simeone. The broad outlook seems related, albeit with alternate strategies.

City’s defending is finished in possession, controlling proceedings. Eight clear sheets had been the muse to their run to final year’s Champions League ultimate.


Atletico Madrid (5-3-2): Oblak; Vrsaljko, Savic, Felipe, Reinildo, Carrasco; Llorente, Kondogbia, Koke; Correa, Joao Felix

Man City (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Cancelo; Silva, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Foden, Grealish

Referee: Daniel Siebert (GER)

It’s three on the spin in this season’s knockouts; one other one on Wednesday night time ensures development to consecutive semi-finals. Sounds straightforward.

‘You cannot achieve things, win trophies, unless you concede few [chances] as a team,’ Guardiola mentioned on Tuesday. 

‘We are not an exceptional team individually defensively but all together we run as a team from day one and that makes us solid. If we are not solid on Wednesday it makes us difficult to get to the semi-finals.’

City count on Atletico to return onto them a bit extra inside a feverish Wanda Metropolitano and Guardiola instructed he isn’t averse to battening down the hatches in the ultimate 10 minutes if required, though seeing is believing the place that’s involved.

Ruben Dias is again after a hamstring damage, coaching with the group for the primary time in six weeks yesterday, however won’t begin, whereas City are cautious of self-discipline enjoying an element in a white-hot environment. 

Diego Simeone's Atletico were criticised for the way they played in the first leg

Diego Simeone’s Atletico had been criticised for the best way they performed in the primary leg 

That was one other theme from the encounter on the Etihad, with Fernandinho ensuring he diverted Jack Grealish away any doable flashpoints at full time. 

The ahead had been on the receiving finish of some tough remedy – 5 fouls and a ball booted at him entrance point-blank vary – and extra of that’s coming this night.

‘I went on and that was really important [to do],’ mentioned Fernandinho, whose quiet management City will miss subsequent season. ‘It’ll be a hostile environment but we have to be ready. It’s really, really important we keep ourselves concentrated for 90 minutes.’

City showcased a extra streetwise streak this time final year, when lastly negotiating their means past the final eight underneath Guardiola. 

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool put two past City in their draw but Guardiola's side had big chances

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool put two previous City in their draw however Guardiola’s aspect had huge probabilities

It is not only the dictating of a game, and slowing it right down to swimsuit their wants, however the calmer method to defending their very own aim or reacting to conceding. Erratic particular person errors haven’t hindered them for some time, with Guardiola aware of protecting it that means.

‘The second leg will be slightly different, because they create real momentum at home,’ the City supervisor added. 

‘There will be moments when they are so aggressive higher and create problems. We will try to defend in those moments. We have to play our game and we always speak about finishing with 11 [players]. If we are on top we will defend deeper and keep the ball.’

That is very often missed with City, and fairly so given what goes on ahead of the again 4. This year’s numbers in the Premier League – 20 targets conceded in their 31 video games to date – would possibly find yourself as their second meanest season underneath Guardiola. 

Ederson's composure under pressure on his own line had Guardiola's heart in his mouth

Ederson’s composure underneath strain on his personal line had Guardiola’s coronary heart in his mouth 

Ederson has two Golden Gloves to his title and personifies confidence. His boss continues to be reliving that heart-in-mouth second on their goal-line towards Liverpool.

‘This guy is crazy, honestly,’ Guardiola mentioned. ‘In that moment, I couldn’t consider it was as shut as once I noticed the picture. One inch to the aim. It doesn’t matter to him. Sometimes I feel he doesn’t really feel something. He’s calm, so steady. Eddy is who he’s. He doesn’t really feel strain.’ 

City will want some of that reptilian calm down once more. 

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