PSG Manchester City dealt with a warning by superstar

Guardiola urges Manchester City to treat PSG semi-final like a friendly Wed, 28 Apr 2021 02:00:00 +0100-Manchester City are all set to make their maiden UEFA Champions League semi-final appearance since 2016. City are one of the contenders for the coveted …

Manchester City dealt with a warning by PSG superstar

April 27, 2021

METZ, FRANCE – APRIL 24: Neymar Jr and Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain react before the Ligue 1 match between FC Metz and Paris Saint-Germain at Stade Saint-Symphorien on April 24, 2021 in Metz, France. (Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images)

Manchester City are all set to make their maiden UEFA Champions League semi-final appearance since 2016. City are one of the contenders for the coveted trophy but their opponents in Paris Saint-Germain are right up there alongside the Cityzens.

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PSG came very close to lifting the UCL title last season but were beaten by a better side in Bayern Munich in a closely fought final. The Parisians have got a chance to redeem themselves as they take on the Carabao Cup winners. Pep Guardiola and his men are desperate for European success and it is going to be a very stern test for the Manchester-based outfit.

Speaking ahead of the crunch tie, Mirror understands that PSG superstar Neymar Jr. revealed that he is at his happiest best at the Parc des Princes. The 29-year-old also said that he will do everything in his power to beat Manchester City to boost PSG’s hopes of winning their first-ever UCL title and to break his UCL trophy drought.

The 29-year-old is also in the running for the prestigious Ballan d’Or along with his teammate in Kylian Mbappe. The likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are also in the reckoning for the award. The Brazilian however was quick to say that his priority is to win the UCL and is not focusing on winning the Ballan d’Or himself.

The former Barcelona star also spoke highly of his teammate, Kylian Mbappe, and revealed that it is his desire to see the Frenchman succeed at the highest level.

Both the teams are evenly matched on paper and it is going to be an arm-wrestle across the two legs. City have looked at their best this season and so have PSG in recent times. The teams lock horns on Wednesday at the Parc des Princes and it is fair to say that both the teams are long overdue for a UEFA Champions League title.

Manchester City recently lifted their fourth successive Carabao Cup and are very close to becoming the champions of England. Having lost the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea, the hopes of a quadruple are certainly dashed but a treble is still very much on the table.

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Manchester City dealt with a warning by PSG superstar Wed, 28 Apr 2021 02:00:00 +0100-Pep Guardiola has told Manchester City to enjoy the pressure of facing PSG in a Champions League semi-final.

Guardiola urges Manchester City to treat PSG semi-final like a friendly

April 27, 2021

Pep Guardiola has told Manchester City to play their Champions League semi-final against Paris Saint-German “like a friendly” and enjoy the pressure of facing last season’s runners-up.

Guardiola, in a conspicuously relaxed mood before the first leg at PSG on Wednesday, urged the players to learn from the example of his mentor, the former Barcelona manager Johan Cruyff. Guardiola won the competition twice as head coach when at Camp Nou, in 2009 and 2011, and has managed in seven previous semi-finals, with Barça or Bayern Munich. This is City’s second appearance in the last four.

PSG have a forward line that features Neymar, who won the competition in 2015 with Barcelona, and the World Cup winner Kylian Mbappé, but Guardiola wants City to focus on their game.

“We know we are going to suffer and they are going to have chances,” he said. “All we can do is try to create chances too; I know the weapons they have up front.

“But at the same time we are in the semi-finals of the Champions League – what do you expect? Are we going to spend 90 minutes thinking how good one player is or another or try to do what we want to do?

“We are going to concede counterattacks; they have the quality with Mbappé, Neymar, Di María, Verratti, Paredes. With Marquinhos and the keeper [Keylor Navas] too, they have a lot of weapons.

“I learn from Johan Cruyff: when you arrive at these stages there is only one thing you can do and that is enjoy the game, the responsibility and the pressure. Enjoy the fact that you have not lived [too many] of these situations.

“Top players enjoy this situation because they take the responsibility. That’s why the greatest win this competition and the greatest clubs win this competition because they play it as a friendly game. That’s what I want to see in my team and that is we are going to do.”

Guardiola recalled his old coach’s words to him and the rest of the first Barcelona team to win the European Cup, in 1992. “The mythical sentence, just one minute before at Wembley against Sampdoria, was: ‘Get out and enjoy it,’” said Guardiola. “I know that is not the sentence I’m going to say to my players. I’m not Cruyff.

“But for this moment enjoy the travel, the coffee you take in the terminal, the hotel, our dinner together watching the other semi-final, the press conference and the hotel, the walk, training. All of the process – it is not just the moment you are going to play.

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“We are privileged to be one of the best four teams in Europe this season and we must enjoy it. We know how tough, how difficult it is to be here and that’s why Cruyff had this idea. Once you arrive at this stage you are nervous because you [may be] thinking of the consequences, not the joy of playing the game and the [potential] pleasure of beating them. … You have to say: ‘We are good too so let’s go.’ This is the mindset of the greatest teams and athletes in all sports.

“When I arrive in the semi-finals, I am always calmer than in other competitions, other moments. I have the sense of the work well done already, and I see the team so happy. I think I’m in a good mood.”

Neymar also struck a contented note. “We’ve beaten Bayern and we’ll do everything in our power to beat Manchester [City]. I feel good. Psychologically, mentally, I’ll do everything I can to win this game, to lead the team towards the final. I said at the start of the season my main goal was to win the Champions League.”

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– April 28, 2021
PSG Manchester City dealt with a warning by superstar