Guardiola Wary Of Monaco’s Strikers

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City
Pep Guardiola, Manchester City manager

Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola has warned his side to beware of Monaco’s strikers when they host the club in tonight’s UEFA Champions League, last 16 tie.

Leonardo Jardim’s side have already beaten Tottenham home and away in the Champions League’s group stages this season and knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League two years ago in knockout stages.

No other side in Europe has been so prolific this season or played with such a sense of attacking adventure.

Guardiola however, admits there should be no doubts about the threat they pose.

Aguero Is Our Best Striker, Manchester City Boss Affirms

Sergio Aguero, Manchester City, Pep GuardiolaManchester City Manager, Pep Guardiola, believes Sergio Aguero is the club’s best striker.

The former Barcelona boss made the assertion in an interview where he clarified the uncertainty over the Argentina forward’s length of contract.

Although Guardiola did not completely confirm that Aguero had signed on for additional year to 2020, it appears the deal has been done.

“He has signed a contract extension, I think. Sergio will be here until he decides (because) he’s our best striker”, the former Bayern Munich coach said.

Aguero, 28, signed a five-year deal with Manchester City in 2014.

However, rumours about a further one-year extension have persisted for a number of months.

Guardiola Tasks Manchester City To Win More Matches

Manchester City, Pep GuardiolaManchester City Manager, Pep Guardiola, has challenged his players to prove that they have bounced back stronger.

The call follows City’s 5-0 win over West Ham on Friday in the third round of the FA Cup competition.

Guardiola noted that it was such dominant display that would help his side catch up on Premier League leaders, Chelsea.

He added that it would also sustain Manchester City’s challenges in the FA Cup and Champions League.

“Finally, we were able to keep the ball more than the last games where it was almost impossible. In the last month or so, our passing was up and down and our game was unpredictable, but today we controlled it the way we played earlier this season.

“We won points when we weren’t good in the past and I spoke about our heart, but we cannot achieve our targets if we don’t try again to play.

“We are not as strong or as quick as the other teams. If we don’t play this way we can’t compete with them,” he said.

The Spaniard has been frustrated with his players lately after they managed to carry out his game-plan in a series of irregular displays.

However, he was overjoyed after Friday’s victory, saying his side have finally regained their form.

I’m Not Quitting Anytime Soon, Guardiola Affirms

Pep Guardiola, Manchester CityPep Guardiola says he still far from ending his coaching job with Manchester City, despite saying he is “arriving at the end” of his career.

The Manchester City manager made the clarification before his side’s clash with West Ham in the third-round of the FA Cup.

He insisted that he was not ready to quit management, saying: “Maybe it was inappropriate to say I’m starting to say goodbye to my career”.

The former Barcelona coach reiterated: “I’m not thinking that I’m going to retire.

“I said in the interview that I won’t be a trainer when I’m 60, but I’m 45. I’m not going to retire in two or three years. I’m not going to train at 60 because I want to do something else in my life,” he added.

Guardiola started managing Manchester City in the summer, after winning 14 trophies in four years with the Spanish giants and three consecutive Bundesliga titles with Germany’s Bayern Munich.

Champions League: Atletico, Real Madrid Arrive For Milan Final

Champions League, Atletico, Real MadridThe city of Milan is getting ready for the final of the UEFA Champions League as arch rivals Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid compete for the coveted trophy on Saturday evening.

Majority of the Spanish fans are expected to start arriving by air, rail and road on Saturday. Fans already arrived in Milan are hoping that they would see an exciting match.

10-time European champions, Real Madrid have arrived their Milan hotel ahead of the Champions League final against Atletico Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo was the first player off the bus and the Portuguese should be fit to play.

The Portuguese set alarm bells ringing on Tuesday when he ended training prematurely with a knock but was fit to train again the following day.

He has scored 16 goals in the competition this season.

Zinedine Zidane’s men are without defenders Raphael Varane and Alvaro Arbeloa for the game.

Meanwhile a crowd of Atletico Madrid fans gathered outside the Hotel Melia in Milan to also welcome their team as they arrived.

Atletico players briefly waved at a group of supporters, many dressed in the team’s jerseys and waving red and white flags, before entering their hotel.

While Madrid will be missing two players, Atletico have a clean bill of health.

It is a far cry from the dishevelled state in which Diego Simeone’s team arrived at the 2014 final, when they struggled with fitness after a long season and suffered key injuries.

The teams’ face off at the San Siro stadium is a repeat of the 2014 final in Lisbon which saw Real come from behind to win 4-1 after extra-time.

Xhaka Looks Forward To Arsenal’s ‘Family Atmosphere’

Granit Xhaka, ArsenalGranit Xhaka says former Gunners Havard Nordtveit, Johan Djourou and Philippe Senderos encouraged him to join the “family” atmosphere at Arsenal.

The 23-year-old midfielder arrived in north London as Arsène Wenger’s first signing of the summer, having spent the last four years at Borussia Monchengladbach.

Xhaka says his former Gladbach team-mate Nordtveit and Swiss compatriots Djourou and Senderos talked up the positive atmosphere at the club.

“I spoke with [Nordtveit] about Arsenal and he told me it’s a big club, a family club and it’s very important for me to come here,” Xhaka told Arsenal Player.

“Philippe played here and I play with him in the national team. Johan and Philippe have only told me positive things.

“Arsenal is Arsenal. It’s not a small club, it’s a very big club and it’s like a family. It’s very good for me because I love my family and to have another family here is very good.”

Xhaka progressed through the youth ranks of Mohamed Elneny’s former side Basel, and the 23-year-old says he is looking forward to playing with the Egyptian.

“I know him by name, but when I went to Monchengladbach he came to Basel,” he said. “My brother played with him and I had heard of him before I came here. In Switzerland we produce very good young players and many of these players have come to England. That’s very good.”

 

Champions League: Ronaldo Injury Scare Ahead Of Final

Champions League, RonaldoReal Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo says he will be fit to face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final on Saturday after limping out of training.

Ronaldo left the pitch with a thigh problem following a clash with goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.

The Portuguese forward was seen showing his thigh to medical staff, receiving attention, he later described the injury as a minor scare.

“I had a small problem in the training session, a ‘sandwich’ (bocadillo) as they say in Spain. But tomorrow or the day after I will be fine,” he told reporters.

Ronaldo has not completed his last three training sessions.

Real Madrid boss, Zinedine Zidane has admitted that Ronaldo sat out a full training as a precaution.

“There will be no problem with that. We had a game among ourselves on Saturday and (Ronaldo) didn’t play, but (only) as a precaution as he felt something small.

“He is preparing for the final and I think we’ll be in good shape physically,” Zidane said.

Wenger Hails Arsenal Character In Man City Draw

ArsenalArsenal manager, Arsene Wenger believes his side have the character to seal a top-three finish in the Barclays Premier League going by the manner in which they drew 2-2 draw at Manchester City.

The Gunners extended their unbeaten run to nine league matches as they came from behind twice through goals for Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez against City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Arsenal now need a point in their final match of the season, against relegated Aston Villa on Sunday, to guarantee third place in the table.

“We have seen again today that we just want to finish the job with the result,” Wenger said. “We have had strong concentration in recent games and our character has been questioned a few times this season.

“We gave the right response today on the pitch, but you have to say if you look we have the best results against the top-four teams. That doesn’t come without character.”

Wenger also said striker Danny Welbeck will have a scan on his knee on Monday to determine the extent of an injury that forced him off the field in the 59th minute.

“I hope that it is not bad one and a meniscus.” Wenger added. “We tried to keep him on the pitch and straight away he tried to move on and he said it was impossible. At half time, I looked at him and he was very down so he must have pain.”

Manchester City manager, Manuel Pellegrini, was remorseful that things did not end well as the result means that Manchester United will now finish above them if they win both their final league matches.

“It was not the way we wanted to finish the season, We wanted to qualify for the Champions League final and to win again today.

“But there are three years of work here, for me, three wonderful and unforgettable years so all I can say to all the fans is thanks for all of it.

“I will never forget you and, most of all, don’t change. Continue the same way because I’m sure next year that this team will need you and will be a very successful team in all the competitions.”

Losing out on Champions League qualification would prove a disaster for incoming City boss, Pep Guardiola.

Real Madrid Stars React To Champions League Final Qualification

Real MadridIn a repeat of the 2014 Lisbon final, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will meet each other at the San Siro on May 28 in the 2016 Champions League final.

Real Madrid beat Manchester City 1-0 to set up the all Spanish final for the second time in three seasons after a first-half own goal from Fernando was enough to secure a narrow win that barely reflected Real’s dominant.

It was a perfect night for Zinedine Zidane. He has just passed the four-month mark as Real Madrid coach and his team are now through to the Champions League final.

The Frenchman had the following to say about his team reaching the final in Milan; “I’m happy, not just for myself; it was a team effort. I’m happy for the players because what they did tonight was fantastic. We suffered because that always happens in semi-finals, but we’ve got through to the final and that is what is important for us.

“We won the game 1-0 and that shows that we had to dig in against a very strong side. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and can say that City didn’t do anything in the game. I think that they did a lot. We hardly allowed them any chances because we defended well and got things right tactically.”

On his part in the success; “I’m the coach of this team. For sure, I’m doing something right. But, it’s not just me, it’s down to everyone who works alongside me. The most important ones are the players, it’s them who allow us to enjoy the football.

“I love football and when I see them doing what they do, I’m happy. I suffer a bit more as a coach than I did as a player. I feel tense during the games. We’ve got to enjoy these moments.”

Important Goal

Madrid went ahead in the first half when Bale picked up Dani Carvajal’s pass and aimed a cross towards the far post that was deflected by Fernando past Joe Hart into the top corner.

He said of the goal that has been credited as an own goal, “The most important thing was to get the goal and that the ball ended up in the net. It doesn’t matter who scores it, the only thing that matters is that it was an important goal which has sent us through to the final. We’ve now got the chance to win another Champions League title”.

Other Real Madrid stars have also spoken about the victory and their expectations from Milan.

Left back, Marcelo said; “In the Champions League there is always a lot of tension, they are tough games. In every competition we play in, we try to do the best we can. It is difficult because they are tough competitions, but we are in the Champions League final and we have a very difficult game ahead of us. We are going into the end of season strong.”

Jesé says; “Last time I wasn’t in the final and now I have the good fortune and opportunity to be there and help the team. This year we deserve to win something and I’m happy.

“All madridistas want to win the Champions League and important things and now we have the opportunity. It is the product of months of work and in the final we have to fight till the last”.

Tough Season

Veteran defender Sergio Ramos considers it a very special night coming off a very tough season.

“After such a tough season, the hard work and the team’s togetherness means that we’re able to enjoy our second final in three years. We dug in and we worked together when we had to.

“The Champions League demands great concentration levels, we performed very well defensively and we put away the chance that we had. We must now enjoy this because it’s a special moment and it takes a lot of hard work to get to a final”.

“The team and the supporters deserve it. Once again, they got fully behind us and were our 12th man. We’ve now got to enjoy this and give our all in another final, we’ve already shown that we know how to win the final.

“It was a very special night for the Real Madrid fans and we’re really keen to bring the eleventh European title back home to our supporters.”

La Liga Quality

Cristiano Ronaldo, in his analysis of the semi-final win against Manchester City, tagged it a busy game.

“The team did well, we controlled the game and had more opportunities. We could have killed the game with a second goal and 1-0 is a small result but it is sufficient. We are in the final, which was our aim. We knew we needed to score and in the first game in Manchester we deserved to. Today as well, we were the better team and it is fair that we are in the final”.

“It is a final. We are facing Atletico again and I’m happy. This shows the quality of La Liga. I am very happy to be in the final and we still have a chance in La Liga.”

Ronaldo also had good words for the coach; “Zidane is doing a fine job. He is helping us and we are happy with his work. I admire him as a coach and as a person, and I hope that he stays with us.

“We have always been with him. He is a humble person, he likes to learn and listen to the players and it is very easy in this sense.”

Real Madrid will go in search of their eleventh European Cup title, against Atlético de Madrid at the San Siro.

It will be the fourth time that this stadium plays host to a European Cup final after the previous showdowns in 1965, 1970 and 2001.

It is the second time in the history of the European Cup that two sides from the same city face each other in the final. The first of these meetings was also between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

In a repeat of the final from two years ago, in which Real Madrid lifted the Décima in Lisbon, Zinedine Zidane’s men will be looking to win and claim their eleventh European Cup title.

UCL: Real Madrid, Manchester City Bosses Laud Players

Real MadridReal Madrid Coach, Zinedine Zidane, is pleased with his side’s 3-0 win against Wolfsburg at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Spain.

Zidane said that although it was a challenging match, he could not deny the fact that they did a good job.

“It is not easy to start how we did, scoring two goals in 15 minutes. We went in with a really high intensity (and) we showed the opposition that it was important for us to win and go through,” the French said on the club’s website.

He also commended the Whites’ messiah, Cristiano Ronaldo whom he described as the world’s best player, saying he was demonstrating what he is.

“What can I say about Cristiano Ronaldo? He is demonstrating what he is, the best player in the world. That’s what makes him a special player,” he said.

Manchester City Manager, Manuel Pellegrini, has also asked his side to go all the way in the Champions League after their historic 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).Manuel Pellegrini

Kevin De Bruyne fired city through to the last four of the league for the first time with his 76th-minute winner at the Etihad stadium.

As Madrid and City progress to the semi-final in the UEFA Champions League (UCL), Manuel Pellegrini could meet his city successor, Pep Guardiola should Bayern Munich beat Benfica on Wednesday.

Manchester City Coach Warns Players Ahead Kiev Clash

Manchester CityManchester City manager, Manuel Pellegrini, has tasked his team to put in their best in Tuesday night’s UEFA Champions League match against Dynamo Kiev.

City are in prime position to reach the quarter-finals for the first time after a 3-1 advantage from the first leg.

Pellegrini, however, warned his side not to falter against opponents who have never won a game on English soil.

Manchester City goalkeeper, Joe Hart, has also warned that Kiev would be a different proposition compared to the team they met in Ukraine, who had just returned from a mid-winter break.

He expressed hope that his team can still win this season’s Champions League, despite their failure to live with the pace in the English Premier League.

Midfielder Yaya Toure has been decalred fit to face Dynamo Kiev at the Etihad Stadium after missing Saturday’s Premier League draw with Norwich City.

Iheanacho Delighted After Scoring Hat-Trick

iheanachoSuper Eagles player, Kelechi Iheanacho, has expressed the hope of sustaining his FA Cup momentum after scoring a hat-trick for Manchester City in their 4-0 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park.

It is Iheanacho’s first hat-trick at City and he said he was hopeful of more to come.

At the post match conference, the Nigerian confirmed that it was a great feeling when the fans chant his name and believed that it would motivate him to improve.

Manchester City Manager, Manuel Pellegrini, was full of praise for the young player, saying the club allowed Stevan Jovetic and Edin Dzeko to leave because they knew Iheanacho had quality.

City will play against Sunderland in their next match on Tuesday.