Pep Guardiola will try to find a plan to beat back Liverpool in Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League quarterfinal second leg at the Etihad Stadium, but for now he’s staring at a 3-0 deficit on a day which has been anything but normal.
“Nobody believes we will go through,” Guardiola said. “We will convince ourselves tomorrow.”
It started with Man City’s bus bombarded on its ride into Anfield, an act condemned by Liverpool in a statement, and never found its footing.
Guardiola said the team bus “is destroyed” and that he expected better from Liverpool. It’ll taste like sour grapes to some, but the Man City manager pointed to an awful incident from last year’s competition to underscore his point.
“So I did not expect that from the Liverpool side, their people. One year ago something happened in Dortmund so we come here to play football and I don’t understand this kind of situation. The bus is destroyed but I did not expect a prestigious club like Liverpool doing this kind of thing. It is not Liverpool, it is the people, but hopefully it does not happen again.”
For those who still want to call it sour grapes, Liverpool hero Steven Gerrard used his stage on BT Sport to call the incidents: “nothing that the club want to be associated with” and “bang out of order.”
Unfortunately, there could have been a psychological advantage from the fans’ horrible decisions. Man City will have to double down on security for the reverse fixture to preserve safety.
As for the match, a deeply-wounded Man City has to find its way back somehow.
All four ties have tilted score lines, but City feels like it has the best odds to respond over the next 90-plus minutes.
“In the second half we tried everything but we couldn’t find a goal. The first two goals, we had control of the game but they scored. I don’t have too many regrets or complaints. Nobody believes but we have another game.
“They had two attacks and scored two goals. That was tough but for the rest of the game we were so, so good. We had to score a goal but they defended more.”