Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City is following a road map all the way to the destination, but sometimes parking is a real drag.
City won its 19th-straight game in all competitions, collecting a 2-0 first leg win over Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League’s Round of 16 on Wednesday.
But Guardiola was none-too-pleased with their work in the final third, with City’s goals coming through Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus.
Guardiola said Gladbach boss Marco Rose “is top,” but still expected better than two goals in Hungary.
“Our decision-making in the final third was not good,” he said. “We have to be more clinical. … The process was good. We played good with the ball but we arrived in the final third and we were not good. In this competition, the opposition doesn’t give you much chances.”
Bernardo Silva was wonderful in the win, thumping a rare header home off Joao Cancelo’s beautiful long ball before pushing a ball through traffic for Jesus to snap home for 2-0.
Silva said he feels good about the game on the whole but also said the finishing must improve even if the game was under control. Clearly, City was stung by their loss to Lyon last season, 71 percent possession and 18-7 in shots not enough to make the semifinal.
“We need to keep going because we’re only halfway through,” Silva said. “We have a map, a way of playing. Players get injured or cannot play and our style doesn’t change.”
Guardiola won the European Cup as a player with Barcelona and then twice as manager, but a fourth has proven very difficult to collect and the Catalan wizard says even the quarterfinal is far away.
“In Champions League, many things happen,” Guardiola said. “It’s not 4-0, 5-0, it’s 0-2. … When I see Bayern Munich I don’t think we are favorites. My target is West Ham in three days. If people say we are favorites we have to accept it, but a team who in their whole history has been a semi-final once? Okay, they say it, we have to accept it.”