Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola happy to avoid Bayern Munich in last 16

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola happy to avoid Bayern Munich in last 16

Pep Guardiola is pleased Manchester City will not have to face his former club Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League.

City secured their place in the knockout phase of the competition with a game to spare thanks to a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday.

But with Barcelona beating Celtic in Glasgow, City can no longer take top spot in Group C.

That means a theoretically tougher draw but manager Guardiola at least knows he will not have to play the club he took to three successive semi-finals before joining City in the summer.

He said: "I think all the teams will be really tough. Bayern Munich are like us, in second position, and the team that face them are going to suffer.

"I'm lucky in that sense because we are not going to face Bayern Munich!

"Four years ago the first (knockout) round of the Champions League was a little bit easier and it started getting a bit serious in the quarter-finals.

"Today all the teams are so strong and anything can happen. We are going to wait for the draw and we are going to see."

City failed to match the standards they showed in beating Barcelona earlier this month but fought back to equalise in Germany through David Silva after falling behind to a Raffael strike.

The dismissals of Monchengladbach captain Lars Stindl and City midfielder Fernandinho early in the second half then robbed the game of much of its intensity and neither side pushed for victory.

For the hosts a draw was sufficient to secure a place in the Europa League and City were also willing to settle for 1-1.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola happy to avoid Bayern Munich in last 16

Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan felt the result was more important than the performance.

The German said: "A lot of other people were expecting a different game but we should calm down because Borussia Monchengladbach are a really good team.

"It is definitely not easy to beat them, especially at their home with the crowd and the supporters. It was a tough game but the most important thing was the result."

City reached the semi-finals last season and the club's ambitions go beyond that, but Gundogan is unsure how far this latest challenge can go.

The 26-year-old said: "I don't know, to be honest. It's such a tough competition, there are so many good teams.

"Of course the win against Barcelona in the last game was important for ourselves. We knew that we were able to beat them and to compete with them and that was maybe also a sign for everyone else.

"Now everyone is expecting a performance like that it's also not easy but we try to do it. We will try to go on like that.

"We will wait to see who we will face. It will definitely be a strong opponent but of course if you want to go for the next round you need to compete with the best."


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