Manchester City not yet ready to compete against Europe’s best – Guardiola

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Pep Guardiola has stressed his Manchester City side are not yet in the kind of shape that will be required for them to make waves in the Champions League.

Pep-Guardiola

City maintained their 100 percent start to the season under Guardiola on Saturday with a 2-1 derby victory at Manchester United. The contest saw the visitors, particularly in the first half, again produce the sort of slick, passing football with which their new manager has been associated.

“Until now, in the Premier League it has been OK — but to compete against the best clubs in Europe, in this moment with the way we are playing, we are not able to.” Guardiola said.

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“We have played, not all of the games, but part of most of the games at a high level, and of course we have to continue.

“If you ask me whether we are ready to compete in Europe, we are not ready. We create, but in front we need more. But it is just two months together, so we have time to get better.”

On Tuesday, City host Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League as they kick off Group C, which also features Barcelona, with whom Guardiola won the competition twice as their coach.

As well as the success at Old Trafford, City’s Premier League campaign so far has returned home wins against Sunderland and West Ham, as well as a victory at Stoke. There has also been a 6-0 Champions League playoff win on aggregate over Steaua Bucharest.

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On the display against United, Guardiola added: “The first half was good — our build-up was correct, patient, and we attacked in the right moments. But we have had a little bit of a problem in the last few games with the last pass — we make the movements, but the last pass, especially in the second half when Manchester United pushed a lot.

“There was the chance to make counter attacks, and we had many. But, except for one or two from Kevin [De Bruyne], we didn’t finish.

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“It happened similarly against Stoke and West Ham — when the game is open, which is typical here in England, if you don’t finish those actions you are going to suffer until the end.

“Today we were lucky — maybe one day we will not be lucky. But overall, it is a big compliment for the performance, because I know how difficult it is to come here and play as we did, especially in the first half.”

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