Guardiola insists Man City must "respect" Copenhagen in Champions League

Guardiola’s side have not lost any of their previous five meetings with Copenhagen.

Man City manager Pep Guardiola is keen to ensure that complacency does not creep into his City side when they welcome Copenhagen to the Etihad for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

The world champions currently hold a two-goal advantage over their Danish counterparts after they secured a 3-1 first-leg victory last month.

Man City have not lost any of their previous five meetings with Copenhagen, winning their last home encounter 5-0 in October 2022.

Guardiola said at a press conference on Tuesday, “In football everything can happen, and we have to be aware of that. We have respect for Copenhagen and how they play.

“The Champions League is Champions League. The best eight teams in Europe [will move to the next round]. We have the chance to be in quarter-finals again and this is the target. We’re not far off that.

“The way Copenhagen defend – they are compact – and all the movements they do really well. I am always aware of the opponents, but I especially look at our players.

“We struggled there last season; Bayern Munich were not able to win in Copenhagen (during the group stage).

“They play two years in a row with the same manager (Jacob Neestrup), and they have a strong striker. They are compact and do really good movements.”

“My concern is always there,” Guardiola added. “Otherwise I would not be here, but I prefer to start 3-1 up rather than 0-1 down.

“I would like us to be ahead 7-0, but that normally doesn’t happen in the Champions League. I want us to perform the way we have to do.

“Red cards or bad decisions can happen in football. If we conceded another goal in the group stages, we are second in the table and the draw would have been Real Madrid not Copenhagen.

“In football the details make the difference. Prepare well, mentally and read what they have to do. Respect Copenhagen, because this competition deserves it.”

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