Guardiola admits Man City don’t know how to stop PSG’s Messi, Mbappe, Neymar
Pep Guardiola had a simple answer when asked how Manchester City intend to stop Paris Saint-Germain’s formidable front three of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi, reports manchesterveningnews.co.uk.
“I don’t know,” he smiled, admitting that preventing the world-class front three of PSG from causing them problems will require a team effort.
City did well to keep Neymar and Mbappe quiet in the Champions League semifinals last season, but PSG has since added Messi to their ranks to become even stronger. And Guardiola heaped praise on the three forwards as he challenged his players to work as a team to stop them.
“This amount of quality I don’t know how to stop them,” he admitted.
“They are so good, the talent all together to control is so difficult. We try to defend well without the ball and let them run when we have the ball. This is what we have to do.
“They are exceptional players, everyone knows it, all of them so good. Individually and they combine and connect.”
Expanding on the test facing City in Paris, especially with last season’s two wins over today’s opponents in mind, Guardiola insisted it will be a completely different situation.
“The feeling isn’t that we beat them in the knockout, this is not the confidence,” he said.
“It’s a new season, a new challenge, I don’t care when you win three games in a row or lose three games in a row. Important is we play a game three days ago that gave us a lot of positive energy, but at the same time six days ago we drew with Southampton. Football is highs and lows and changes everything so quick.
“The games vs PSG, they were better first half in Paris, we were better in the second half. Here we defend better than we expect, with a lot of resilience in the first half, we punish them in the counter-attack and did it well.
“They are a fantastic team. What can I say with the players they have? Marquinhos is a big fan of him, Hakimi and all midfield players, Paredes, Danilo, on good form. Verratti especially and the three players upfront can do whatever they want.
“They can play wide, they can play narrow, one wide left, Messi can play right or middle, Mbappe wide or left or right. They combine so well, the talent cannot be stopped. We have to do it as a team. Individually we cannot put the pressure on one player to stop the skills and the talents of the players they have.”