Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola hails his side’s ‘aggressive’ second half performance against PSG after telling his players ‘not to be shy’ following a shaky start to Champions League semi-final
Manchester City are 90 minutes away from a maiden Champions League final after s stunning comeback in Paris.
Pep Guardiola’s side battled from an early Marquinhos header with goals by Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez to earn an advantage against Paris Saint-Germain ahead of next Tuesday’s semi-final second leg.
Guardiola – searching for a record-equalling third title in the competition – hailed City’s attitude in the French capital after a shaky start.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola praised his side for their turnaround against PSG
City came from behind to win 2-1 after Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez’s second half goals
‘I admired how they changed from not doing well – it means a lot to me,’ Guardiola said. ‘We convinced them at half-time that when we are who we are, everything is easier.
‘We adjusted some little, stupid unimportant things and then it depends on the personality of the players.
‘You can play a little bit cautious in the knockouts. [After] were fantastic. We were more aggressive.
Guardiola said his players felt t
‘I understand the players, sometimes they don’t feel comfortable, they feel the responsibility. I’m not complaining about that. I told them not to be shy, try to play with our identity.
‘You cannot win qualification in the first leg but you can lose it. When you are not good, you can lose two or three and it’s over.
‘They feel the responsibility. If we lose, we lose. We’ll try again next season, no problem, but try to play our game.
‘There is hard work to do, especially against a team that has Neymar. It’s a good result but everything remains open. I feel that my players know that.’
De Bruyne revealed that City became more intense as the game wore on as they eventually overpowered Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Guardiola said he told his players to be braver after falling behind in the first half
‘After 25 minutes we changed the way we pressed them and it became better,’ De Bruyne said.
‘We know there will be moments in the game when we are going to suffer. We know the quality at this stage we know how good they are so you have to set your mind that you are going to have to run hard and will have to work hard for the team.’
PSG full back Alessandro Florenzi maintained the French giants are not out of the tie.
‘We lost our shape, it’s not like us,’ Florenzi said. ‘The first goal was a little fortunate, the second went through the wall. Details make the difference at this level.
‘We’re only halfway through the battle, they haven’t won the war yet. It won’t be easy, but this team has what it takes to win in Manchester. We need 11 warriors ready to die on the pitch.’