Guardiola Says Manchester City Win Against Barcelona Is Vital

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City, Barcelona
Pep Guardiola, Manchester City, Barcelona

Pep Guardiola has described Manchester City’s 3-1 win over Barcelona as momentous, considering he has only been working at the club for four months.

Guardiola, who believes it is just a beginning for City, however, says it shows his team is on the right track.

It was a dream come true for the coach as two goals from Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne’s fine free-kick handed the hosts a famous win.

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi had open the scoring in the 21st minute with the aim to replicate the Spanish side’s 4-0 win at Camp Nou.

However, the story changed down the line, as the match ended 3-1 on Tuesday at the Etihad Stadium.

This means Manchester City have one foot in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages.

Ozil Again Secures Arsenal’s Victory Against Razgrad

Arsenal, Ludogorets Razgrad, Mesut Ozil, Manchester United, BarcelonaArsenal have yet again beaten Ludogorets Razgrad 3-2 in a UEFA Champions League return match on Tuesday night.

Although the Gunners had a poor beginning, they later displayed a brilliant performance at the Ludogorets Arena in Bulgaria.

Goals from Jonathan Cafu and Claudiu Keseru had set Razgrad on the spot before Granit Xhaka gave the English visitors a reason not to lose their winning hope.

Olivier Giroud also made good use of Aaron Ramsey’s assist to level the score for Arsenal in the 42nd minute.

After a strong battle for the winner, Mohamed Elneny made a superb pass which led to Mesut Ozil’s 88th minute goal.

In an earlier visit to the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal humbled the Bulgarian side 6 – 0.

Ozil netted a hat-trick while Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored a goal apiece.

Dream Come True

Meanwhile, it was a dream come true for Coach Pep Guardiola as Manchester United thrashed Barcelona 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

Pep Guardiola: Champions League: Guardiola Wants New Mindset Against Barcelona
Pep Guardiola

Football legend, Lionel Messi had open the scoring in the 21st minute with the aim to replicate the Spanish side’s 4-0 win at Camp Nou.

However, the story changed down the line, as Ilkay Guendogan equalised for City.

The first half subsequently ended 1-1.

Kevin de Bruyne netted a brilliant goal few minutes after the second half began before Guendogan scored his second goal.

Barcelona Shatter Guardiola’s Hope Of Victory With Man City

Pep Guardiola, Barcelona, Manchester City, Bayern Munich, ArsenalIn the face of three games without victory, Barcelona have yet again truncated Pep Guardiola’s hope of victory, as Manchester City lost to the Spaniards on Wednesday night.

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi netted the opener for the Spanish giants in a much expected tough UEFA Champions League showdown at the Camp Nou.

Efforts by the English side to balance the scoreboard in the first half proved abortive, but led to David Silva and Fernandinho getting a yellow card apiece.

As City’s Claudio Bravo bagged a straight red card, Messi showed his former coach that he was ready for the face-off, as he netted a brace in the second half (making it a hat-trick for the football legend).

Despite Guardiola’s familiarity with the hosts, Barcelona took their stand to maintain their home unbeaten record in the Champions League since 2013, as the match ended 4 – 0 with Neymar’s late goal.

The former Barcelona player and coach took the helm of the Sky Blues last summer.

Barcelona defender, Gerard Pique had expected a completely different Manchester City, now that the British side was being managed by Guardiola.

Pique believed his former coach had tried to make Manchester play in a similar way to the Spanish side.

Arsenal Shine

In England, Arsenal recorded huge success as they humbled Bulgaria’s Ludogorets Razgrad 6 – 0 at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners took the lead right from the first half with a brilliant goal each from Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

It was an all Arsenal affair, as the English side had another reason to celebrate with Mesut Ozil netting a hat-trick in the second half.

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich have finally broken the jinx of ‘no victory’ since their last three games in all competitions.

The German side recorded a 4 – 1 win while playing host to PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday night.

League One champions, Paris Saint Germain (PSG) also displayed a brilliant performance, defeating Basel 3 – 0 on the French soil.

Elsewhere, FC Rostov lost 0 – 1 to Atletico Madrid, Celtic lost 0 – 2 to Borussia Moenchengladbach, Dynamo Kyiv lost 0 – 2 to Benfica while Napoli lost 2 – 3 to Besiktas.

Teams Ready For UEFA Champions League Face-offs Tonight

UEFA Champions League
Barcelona, Manchester City

As football fans all over the world look forward to viewing Wednesday night’s UEFA Champions League showdowns, various European clubs have been talking about their preparedness for the clashes.

Pep Guardiola’s formidable managerial skills will be put to the test again when his stuttering Manchester City side visit his former club, Barcelona in a much anticipated game.

Guardiola’s brilliant start in England, which saw him oversee 10 consecutive wins in all competitions, has given way to a run of three games without victory.

The former Barcelona player and coach took the helm of the Sky Blues last summer.

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola

The Catalans, however, are unbeaten at their home in the Champions League since 2013.

Barcelona defender, Gerard Pique expects a completely different City, now that the British side is under Guardiola.

Pique believes his former coach has managed to make Manchester play in a similar way to the Spanish side.

Elsewhere, Ludogorets Razgrad manager, Georgi Dermendzhiev, says his side have learnt from their mistakes, as they prepare to take on Arsenal at the Emirates.

Ludogorets have been impressive so far in the campaign; drawing with Basel and leading French champions, Paris Saint Germain (PSG) last time out, before eventually succumbing to a 3-1 loss.

The Bulgarian side have won the domestic title five years in a row and have slowly built up experience of European soccer.

Coach Arsene Wenger, however, earlier warned the Gunners against their visitors’ experience and hopes his team would reflect the caution in the match.

Meanwhile, French midfielder, Francis Coquelin, is ready to fight for a place in the Arsenal squad ahead of the clash, after he was out with injury since September 24.

Arsenal midfielder, Francis Coquelin

For the Frenchman to get back in the team, he will have to beat competition from Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny in a packed midfield.

On the flip side, Bayern Munich are hoping to return to winning ways in their match against PSV Eindhoven.

Bayern, who started the season well, have not had a win in their last three matches in all competitions.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti, however, says it is too early to talk of a ‘crisis’ in the team.

Carlo Ancelotti, Phillip Lahm
Manager Carlo Ancelotti

Bayern are second in Group D with three points while PSV are in fourth place with one point.

Other fixtures to look out for tonight are: PSG against Basel, Dynamo Kyiv versus Benfica, Napoli against Besiktas, Celtic versus Borussia Moenchengladbach and FC Rostov hosting Atletico Madrid.

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.”

 

Wenger Hails Barcelona’s Exceptional Team

Arsene WengerArsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has hailed ‘exceptional’ Barcelona and compared their play to art after the Gunners were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League at the Nou Camp.

The Spanish side clinched a 3-1 win to progress to the quarter-finals with 5-1 on aggregate on Wednesday night.

Wenger, who was pleased with his side’s overall performance, insisted that Arsenal had Luis Enrique’s side worried at 1-1.

“It was a team performance and the quality was good. I’m disappointed with the result but we played against a team with the best strikers I have seen play together,” Wenger said on Arsenal’s website.

He said that the La Liga giants were exceptional, stressing that they could make chances from nothing.

However, Wenger said that Arsenal could not take their chances to find a second goal that would put them in a strong position.

“After they scored and it was 2-1, our belief was less than when it was 1-1. We had chances and Barcelona was exceptional.

Barcelona Beat Arsenal To Cruise To UCL Quarter Finals

BarcelonaSpanish giants, Barcelona have cruised into the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions League after beating Arsenal on Wednesday night.

Neymar set the Catalonians ahead of the game with a fantastic goal after Luis Suarez’s assist in the 18th minute.

The Gunners seemed to wake up from sleep in the second half as Mohamed Elneny levelled the score  in the 51st minutes.

Consequently, Suarez and Lionel Messi helped Barcelona secure win at the Nou Camp with goals in the 65th and 88th minutes respectively.

The Catalans qualify with a 5-1 aggregate score.

AFCON Qualifier: Egypt Names Five Foreign Professionals For Nigeria

AFCON qualifierAhead of their AFCON qualifier against Nigeria, Egypt Coach, Héctor Cúper, has called up five players overseas to join the national team’s training camp.

The Argentine tactician picked Mohamed Salah, Mohamed Elneny, Ahmed Hassan, Mahmoud Hassan and Amr Warda to join the Pharaohs’ camp which starts on March 20.

The foreign professionals will be joined by 18 home-based counterparts after the CAF Champions League and the Confederation Cup games at the weekend.

The 7-time African champions will head to Nigeria two days before the first leg of the AFCON qualifier on March 25 before the team returns to Egypt to get ready for the second leg on March 29.

Mohamed Elneny Joins Arsenal From FC Basel

elnenyArsenal have completed the signing of Egyptian midfielder, Mohamed Elneny, from FC Basel.

The central midfielder became the first Egyptian to join the club when his transfer was completed on Thursday morning.

Elneny is delighted to be an Arsenal player and the 23-year-old has promised the fans that he will make a positive contribution in North London.

“I am very keen to participate positively with my new team, God willing, indescribable feeling, I am really glad of course,” he told Arsenal Player.

“Arsenal is one of those teams that everyone enjoys watching and of course I would love to play for such a great team.

“Mr Wenger is a highly respected manager and one of the world’s best managers. It is my honour to be trained under his management.

“It is one of the biggest clubs in the world, I know everything about it and its players.

“I would like to tell [the fans] that, although you have not seen much of me, I promise I will contribute positively with the team. I am hoping that we win the Premier League and cup this season, and the Champions League as well.”

The Arsenal manager also believes that “intermediate stay in Europe” will help Elneny to acclimatise to life in London.

“Overall I believe he will be a good addition to the squad,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.

“First he has not come in straight to a big club, he had an intermediate stay in Europe so the adaptation is less of a question mark.

“He is 23 years old and has already got Champions League, Europa League and Swiss League experience. He is a player who is adaptable in midfield.

“He can be box to box and be a holding midfielder so that is for us very promising. We wanted a versatile player and I wanted a player who can play defensive but can as well play to box to box.

“His strengths are his technical level, his vision, his intelligence, his disciplined attitude and his physical attitude to compete at a high level. I think he has the physical qualities to play at the top level.

“Where he needs to adapt is to the challenges, the force needed in the Premier League to survive. I think that could demand a little bit of adaptation. But overall I think he has all the attributes to do well.”