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Guardiola: Man City ‘not ready to fight for the Champions League’

Pep Guardiola has suggested that his Man City side still have a way to go before they can challenge for the Champions League trophy. 

Man City staged an incredible comeback on Wednesday night against FC Schalke 04, recovering from two Nabil Bentaleb goals to win the tie 3-2.

The Premier League side looked set to come away from Gelsenkirchen with a defeat until Sane popped up in the 85th minute with a sensational free-kick to level matters with his former team at two apiece.

That was enough to give Pep’s charges the impetus to beat Schalke, Raheem Sterling shell-shocking the German side with an injury-time winner.

Guardiola said after the game that City were lucky to come away with a win, while saying his side need to improve if they are to ultimately challenge for the trophy.

“We’re not ready to fight for the Champions League. The result is good. I know how difficult it is to play in Germany.” Guardiola told his post-match press conference.

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“They didn’t have a shot on target and scored twice. If they’d scored a third or fourth then maybe we’re out. Hopefully or fans can help us for the second leg.”

Schalke’s equaliser came via a controversial decision from the VAR, after the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty, but Guardiola had sympathy for the official.

“When a new system starts it’s like a manager. You arrive and expect to win every game 6-0. VAR needs time, they will improve. The referee told me the machine was broken. I support the initiative. The referees need help and that is VAR’s intention.”

City had taken the lead early on through Sergio Aguero, but as so often is the case with the league champions this season, they relinquished it to two goals from ex-Spurs man Bentaleb before embarking on their incredible comeback.

This writer had written off this tie as the least intriguing of the lot in the Champions League round of 16, so please make sure to do your worst in the comments below.

See Also: Guardiola hails Man City’s ‘unbelievable personality’ after dramatic 3-2 win over Schalke

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