Prickly Pep Guardiola questions why people expect him to win the Champions League with Manchester City
- Pep comments on UCL pressures
- Believes reign will be judged on European success
- But doesn't think it should be
WHAT HAPPENED? Arriving in 2016 off the back of managing perhaps the greatest club side of all time and taking them to two Champions League crowns in Barcelona, before winning a trio of Bundesliga titles in Germany with Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola was the man to take Manchester City to new heights. And while he accepts that has to come in the form of taking the club to European glory, he doesn't necessarily agree with it.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to reporters ahead of City's Champions League last-16 second leg against RB Leipzig, Guardiola agreed he will 'absolutely be judged' for how he fares in Europe with City. He added: "Because since day one when I arrived here, the first game in the Champions League they asked me, just arrived sitting here for the first time, 'you are here to win the Champions League'.
"I said 'what?' If I was manager of Real Madrid - that isn't going to happen - I could understand. But here, I don't know [if it's possible]. But I accept it."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Since Guardiola's arrival, City have dominated on a domestic front and this season are still firmly in a position to win their third consecutive Premier League title. But they've struggled to imprint the same dominance in Europe, reaching the final just once in 2021 and losing to Chelsea.
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WHAT NEXT FOR CITY? Having drawn 1-1 away to Leipzig in the first leg of their last-16 tie, it's up to Guardiola's side to put on a show in front of a home crowd at the Etihad and ensure passage into the quarter-finals, avoiding any kind of upset.