Guardiola says Man City ‘ready’ for Real Madrid test

Action from the Champions League last-16 first leg tie between Manchester City and Real Madrid in the Bernabeu in February. (AFP file photo)
Short Url
Updated 07 August 2020

Guardiola says Man City ‘ready’ for Real Madrid test

  • City host Zinedine Zidane’s team in the 2nd leg of their last-16 tie, leading 2-1 after their win in February

LONDON: Pep Guardiola says Manchester City want to impose their game when they meet Real Madrid in their postponed Champions League match on Friday, believing his side are  ready to face the 13-time champions.

City host Zinedine Zidane’s team in the second leg of their last-16 tie, leading 2-1 after their win in the Bernabeu in February.

Guardiola’s side lost their Premier League crown to Liverpool but have a chance to finish the coronavirus-interrupted season by becoming European champions for the first time.

“We want to play our own game,” the City boss said at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.

“We want to impose our own style on the game, whether we’re defending or playing on the counter-attack or whether Madrid are countering.

“What we want to try and do is take the game to certain areas of the field where we can hurt Real Madrid, where we can show the qualities of our players.”

He added: “I had the feeling now, today, that we are ready to play the game tomorrow and do a good performance and win the game,” he said. “That’s my feeling, we are ready.”

But Guardiola warned that it was vital for his side to cut out the defensive mistakes that have hurt his side this season.

“More than conceding the goals, it’s the way that we conceded the goals,” he said. “When they are brilliant and make a good action we have to accept it.

“But for most of them it was goals that could have been avoided. We have to avoid it. Making mistakes in this competition punishes you a lot.”

Midfielder Rodri said the mood in the camp was good and he felt City were the better team.

But he believes playing Real presents unique challenges.

“They are more than a team,” he said. “I think they have that way of playing that you can never relax, even if you’re winning 3-0, 4-0. They always come back and they have the huge personality to become the champions they have been in the last 20, 30 years.

“It’s the biggest team in this competition and they have showed that to the world but now football has changed a little bit — it’s so competitive, the distances between teams are so, so narrow.

“I know we have a better team but we have to show that we are a better team on the pitch tomorrow.”

Guardiola revealed defender Eric Garcia has turned down the offer of a contract extension at the Etihad Stadium.

The highly rated 19-year-old center back has been linked with a return to his boyhood club Barcelona.

“He told us he doesn’t want to extend his contract with Manchester City,” said Guardiola. “He has one more year then after that he doesn’t want to extend.

“We want it but he doesn’t want to extend the contract. I imagine he wants to play in another place.”


Racing in the streets: Jeddah to host first Saudi F1 Grand Prix

Updated 29 October 2020

Racing in the streets: Jeddah to host first Saudi F1 Grand Prix

  • Kingdom’s inaugural race to take place in city while purpose-built track at Qiddiyah is being completed

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s inaugural Formula 1 Grand Prix next year will take place on the city streets of Jeddah.
The Saudi Grand Prix appears on the provisional F1 calendar for 2021 that has been distributed to race teams. It is expected to be the penultimate race of the 2021 season, which will conclude
with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit.
Jeddah will host the Saudi race while a new purpose-built track at Qiddiyah is completed, which is expected to be in 2023.
It is one of 22 races on a provisional 2021 schedule as F1 plans to return to a calendar as close to normal as possible after this year’s disruption. The first 10 races of the 2020 season were either postponed or cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

HIGHLIGHT

The Saudi Grand Prix is one of 22 races on a provisional 2021 schedule as F1 plans to return to a calendar as close to normal as possible after this year’s

The 2021 season will begin in Melbourne, Australia in mid-March and then goes on to Bahrain. It includes nearly all the races that had been due to be held this year.
That means a return for grands prix in China, Japan and Canada, which had to be cancelled because of the disruptions to international travel caused by COVID-19, as well as the debut of the Vietnamese Grand Prix.
F1 has been in conversations with the relevant national governments and all are said to be in agreement the races can take place, unless the pandemic worsens.
In 2018, Riyadh hosted the first Formula E championship in the Middle East in Diriyah with 23,000 in attendance. The second Formula E championship was held in late 2019.
This year, Saudi Arabia held its first Dakar Rally, a 7,800km race that began in Jeddah and finished in Qiddiyah.