Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Manchester City won't ease up against Basel, says Vincent Kompany

Kevin De Bruyne Kevin De Bruyne
Kristopher Love | 18 February, 2018, 15:08

Sergio Aguero was typically sublime, but the evening belonged to Gundogan, who contributed 50% of the goals and a large proportion of City's excellent build-up play.

Liverpool, City and Spurs have made impressive starts in the last-16, and while Chelsea and Manchester United are to come, the collective winning percentage of England's clubs in the group stage this year was 70% - which had only been bettered twice before in 2013-14 (English clubs: 70.8%) and 2014-15 (Spanish sides: 70.8%).

Liverpool had 55 per cent of the ball in Porto, Tottenham 67 per cent at Juventus and City nearly three-quarters of possession in Basle. But this performance told me that Pochettino still has the players and they are still up for the fight.

"Ilkay Gundogan is an extraordinary player".

City are on track to win the quadruple, with Guardiola's men 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League and through to the final of the Carabao Cup, where they will face Arsenal on February 25.

"The quadruple is looking even more likely now for Manchester City who have one foot into the next round of the Champions League and it is something which will be causing us a massive headache over the next few months unless they fall short in one of the cup competitions", said Coral's John Hill.

The German winger is back just two weeks after an ankle injury, well ahead of the predicted six the club had forecasted which Guardiola admitted has surprised him.

"With De Bruyne and David Silva, we have a fantastic midfield trio".

And David Silva's substitute appearance means he has now played more games in all competitions this season than any other player across the top five European leagues without suffering a single defeat (28 games). He urged his team to give themselves a rousing victory margin in the second leg.

"We have shown that we were the better team tonight and only for a lack of motivation and effort could we be not that team again at the Etihad and that's not permitted". Like we said in the beginning, game by game.

Both Kompany and Guardiola criticised Basel's Sankt Jakob Park pitch. Pep Guardiola's men concluded the away leg with FC Basel in the 53rd minute when Ikay Gundogan was brought back into action to score his second goal of the night when he latched on Aguero's clever pass to curl the ball into the back of the net effortlessly.

"I thought the pitch was a bit hard, it was freezing out there", said Kompany while Guardiola described the pitch as "dangerous".

Wicky said: "They were very clinical, scoring three goals in the first half".