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Guardiola knows risk of punishment from Real if City lose focus

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SHOWS: MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UK (AUGUST 6, 2020) (MANCHESTER CITY HANDOUT - ACCESS ALL)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER, PEP GUARDIOLA, ON ZIDANE'S TACTICS, SAYING (ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL TRANSLATION):

"Yeah it's difficult to know (what tactics Zidane will use), when you think that you've got one of his tactical plans covered, he'll hit you with another tactical plan or revert to the original one that you thought he was going to start with. So, it's very, very difficult to analyse someone like his tactics. Obviously in the dim and distant past we played the first leg and what we can remember from the first leg we've put to good use. We spoke about how we'd approach tactically before that game and since then we've watched all Madrid's games since La Liga restarted after the lockdown. So, we've spoken about how we think Madrid might approach this game. But what we've done more in these last two weeks as a squad is to talk about what we can do and how we feel that we can hurt Madrid in areas that we can cause problems for them and that's what we've been focusing on in the build up as we prepared for this game.

2. WHITE FLASH

3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER, PEP GUARDIOLA, ON AVOIDING DEFENSIVE ERRORS, SAYING:

"We have to avoid it, you know the making mistakes like in this competition, it punishes you a lot. So, we know it, we spoke about that not now, not these weeks, you know the last years many times, so in important games like this and we know it and if want to make a step forward as a team to be close to win this competition we have to be better in this area

4. WHITE FLASH

5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER, PEP GUARDIOLA, ON ERIC GARCIA, SAYING:

"No, he announced to us that he doesn't want to extend the contract with Manchester City. So, he has one more year and after that, yeah, he doesn't want extend, we want it, but he doesn't want to extend the contract. So, imagine he wants to play in another place."

6. WHITE FLASH

7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER, PEP GUARDIOLA, ON IF THE WANT TO WIN IS MORE DUE TO HIS BARCELONA ROOTS, SAYING:

"No, not especially honestly. So, the fact that I play against Real Madrid or not play against Real Madrid I will be always be a Barcelona supporter. It's a club where I grew up and gave me part of who I am. But when I was with Bayern Munich and play against Rael Madrid or Barcelona I want to beat them, so, I play against Barcelona I want to beat them. I didn't do it. So, nothing special honestly, just because I want to for our players for our club to go to the next step. That is what I want. So, I don't lose concentration and focus on these kind of things. I focus what we have to do as a team to beat Real Madrid."

8. WHITE FLASH

9. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER, PEP GUARDIOLA, ON FANS RETURNING TO STADIUMS IN FUTURE, SAYING:

"Yeah of course, I think all the professionals, not just the managers, the football players miss the spectators, so, it's a reality. But we now already adapt a little bit, but hopefully depends of the health of the people who are going to play with them, but it's going to happen when it will be secure for everyone not just for us. So, also we want the kids come back to school as soon as possible, maybe it's more important than the come back the people in the stadiums, so, we will see."

10. WHITE FLASH

11. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MANCHESTER CITY MIDFIELDER, RODRI, ON WHY HE THINKS CITY HAS A BETTER SQUAD THAN REAL MADRID, SAYING (ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL TRANSLATION):

"Well, I think that's just a general opinion of mine. I think maybe we have got a better team, but words are worthless if you can't demonstrate that out on the field. It's down to us to prove that and prove to people what I've said. You know there are lots of general reasons that I don't want to go into, but I'll just say we're a side that's full of goals, we've got talented players in every position, in every area of the field and everyone can contribute to scoring. But as I say, it's useless to say that if we don't show it out on the pitch. We've got to play well tomorrow night and I think we've got to match Real Madrid in what they may have which is better than us. That is experience on the massive stage like this and they've got a strong mentality in these big, big games. I think if we match them in those areas, fate will decide, but I think we'll have a good chance."

STORY: Manchester City take a 2-1 lead into their Champions League last 16 match against Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium on Friday (August 7) but manager Pep Guardiola needs no reminders of how quickly games can turn in Europe's elite competition.

In last year's quarter-finals City went out on away goals to Tottenham Hotspur after looking in command when 4-2 up in the second leg.

The previous year, City were blitzed by three Liverpool goals inside 19 first-half minutes as they fell to a 5-1 aggregate defeat.

Guardiola's first campaign with City in the Champions League ended in the last 16 when they threw away a 5-3 first-leg advantage over Monaco with a 3-1 defeat in the principality.

In each of those games there were periods when City lost their grip on the game, their possession football and attacking creativity undone by sloppy defending and a loss of focus.

"This competition punishes you a lot," Guardiola told a news conference on Thursday (August 6).

"We know it, we have spoken about that the last years and we know it. If we want to make a step forward as a team to be close to winning this competition we have to be better in this area," he said.

Much has changed since the first-leg against Real on Feb. 26, when City triumphed thanks to late goals from Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne (penalty).

Zinedine Zidane's side came back after the lockdown to clinch the Spanish league title with a run of 10 straight wins and they have had time to recover after drawing their final game of the season at Leganes on July 19.

Guardiola and his team studied Real, record 13-times European champions, closely during their domestic return but the former Barcelona manager isn't sure that will help him a great deal.

"When you think that you've got one of his tactical plans covered he'll hit you with another or revert. It is already very difficult to analyse tactics. In the dim and distant past we played the first leg and what we can remember from that we will put to good use," he said.

"Since then, we've watched all Madrid's games since La Liga restarted so we've spoken about how we think Madrid might approach this game, but what we have done more is speak as a squad about how we can hurt Madrid and cause problems for them. That is what we've been focusing on in the buildup to this game," he said.

Guardiola gave little away in terms of his side's tactics, while revealing that young defender Eric Garcia, heavily linked with a move to Barcelona, does not want to extend his contract.

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