Guardiola PHOTO: Sky Sports
Guardiola PHOTO: Sky Sports

Pep Guardiola has admitted his charges must produce ”perfect” performance to subdue Barcelona in Tuesday’s Champions League clash at Eastlands.

Manchester City suffered an embarrassing 4-0 bashing in their Group C engagement against the Catalan side at the Camp Nou on October 19.

And their goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was sent off, making it a night to quickly forget for the English side.
Guardiola has acknowledged the importance of keeping 11 players on the pitch against a side of Barcelona’s calibre.
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“We know we need to play almost perfectly,” Guardiola, who guided Barcelona to two Champions League titles while manager from 2008-12 after starring for the club as a player, told a news conference on Monday.

“It’s always difficult in the Champions League. Ten versus 11 against Barcelona is almost impossible. We have to improve that otherwise it is impossible to achieve the target.

“I have never thought we can’t win a football match and I will never start to think that way, even though we lost 4-0. We’ll give it a go. We know it is difficult and they are a difficult opponent.

“Maybe we are going to change the way we press, the build-up, many things. I would like to play in a good level. What passed in Barcelona, that is not the reason for what it is going to happen here.

“We have to be focused in 90 minutes knowing they are going to provoke our mistakes with the quality they have. In that moment we try to keep going and finish better than in Barcelona.”

Guardiola declares ”war” on Barca

The Blaugrana top the group with three wins from three games, while their hosts have four points after picking a draw at Celtic following a win against Borussia Moenchengladbach.

The City manager, therefore, said the game was of greater importance for his side as they trail their visitors.

“It is not a final for them. It is a final for us,” the 45-year-old explained.

“There are just three games left. We dropped two points in Glasgow against Celtic and we need to recover those points.

“Every manager, every trainer has his plans. We know them, they know us. But football is unpredictable. Hopefully our quality in front can make a difference.

“In the first half we played well at Camp Nou. But the two wide players for Barcelona are almost unstoppable. The only thing I can ask of our players is they play the way they know.”

Willy Caballero is set to man the sticks for Guardiola’s side as Bravo serves his suspension. And the former Bayern Munich manager believes in the qualities of the 35-year-old.

“He has helped me very much from the first few games,” Guardiola said.

“I like Willy on a personal level and as a goalkeeper he has played and given a lot of confidence. If he plays well, we’re all be happy with him. If he doesn’t, then we will support him. But I have no doubts about him.”