Guardiola labels Barcelona clash "like a final"

Guardiola labels Barcelona clash "like a final"

Pep Guardiola addressed the media ahead of his side's Champions League tie with Barcelona.

Ben Strange

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says his side have to approach their Champions League Group C clash with Barcelona like it is a final.

The blues are currently second behind Tuesday nights opponents, who have a five point lead ahead of Guardiola’s men, and the City boss knows that he cannot afford to drop anymore points, with Borussia Mönchengladbach just one point behind them and the Germans are firm favourites to beat Celtic in the other Group C tie.

Ahead of the clash at the Etihad stadium, Guardiola said: “I think we know what we have to do to beat them.

We have to play in that way, like a final. It’s not a final for them, it is a final for us.

The blues were left embarrassed when the two sides last met at the Camp Nou two weeks ago, in a match which saw the Manchester club reduced to ten men after goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was sent off.

A hat trick from the unplayable Lionel Messi and a goal from Neymar did the damage against the blues who were taught a lesson about how they need to play if they wish to conquer Europe.

Guardiola continued: “It’s always difficult to win in Champions League games, and it’s difficult to beat Barcelona when it is 11 against 11, but ten against 11 is almost impossible."

Tough ask for City

Despite a very difficult opponent, Guardiola says City have to recover the points dropped in Spain and Scotland, when they drew 3-3 with Celtic.

We dropped two points in Glasgow, and we were penalised then." Guardiola said: “We have to recover those points in the next two games.”

With first choice keeper, Bravo, now suspended for the tie City will turn to Willy Caballero to deputise, tasked with the role of preventing the free flowing strike force of Barcelona.

But Guardiola is confident that Caballero will provide an assured performance for the blues.

He said: “Every time Willy has played he has played well. He gives me confidence, I have no doubts about him.