STUNNED Pep Guardiola cannot believe Liverpool result but pledges Man City response

Posted Thursday, April 05, 2018 by

STUNNED Pep Guardiola cannot believe Liverpool result but pledges Man City response
Liverpool beat Pep Guardiola's Man City 3-0 at Anfield

PEP GUARDIOLA urged his Manchester City to "believe" they can turn around their Champions League fortunes despite being battered on and off the pitch at Anfield last night.

On a night marred by shameful scenes before the game when the City team coach was bombarded with bottles and missiles, leaving it unfit for the return journey home, Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool ran riot.

Goals from Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane left the Premier League leaders trailing 3-0 and with a mountain to climb at the Etihad when the two clash in the second leg next Tuesday.

But the City boss insisted he has seen his side perform miracles this season and he urged the Etihad to recreate the atmosphere inside the ground that dragged Liverpool to victory.

"Nobody believes we will go through but I believe a lot of my team," he said.

"They show me a lot of things in this season. We have 90 minutes all of us, Sevilla and Juventus.

"It is complicated because we are going to play a top top team in Liverpool and a clean sheet will be so important. But you have the permission to believe," he said.

Liverpool apologised for the hostile welcome which saw City's coach damaged and the Merseyside club rushed out an apology "condemning" the actions of those supporters involved.

"The behaviour of a number of individuals was completely unacceptable and the club will cooperate fully with the authorities to identify those responsible," it said.

No players or staff were injured but two police officers were hurt and the coach was left unsafe to be driven with a broken front window and damaged door.

The hostile welcome was one blot on a night which could not have gone better for Klopp despite an injury to leading goalscorer Salah and a second yellow card for captain Jordan Henderson which rules him out of the match next Tuesday.

The Liverpool manager said that Salah, who appeared to have a groin injury, would be assessed in the morning but had told medics he felt alright at the end of the match.

"We are 3-0 up it is better than being 3-0 down but everybody knows it is not a decision [on the tie]," he said.

"It would make sense to score there but it will be difficult.

"The result is not what we expected and they did not have a lot of chances but we didn't play much football ourselves in the second half. It is only half-time. but 3-0 up is good."

Jordan Henderson said he was "disappointed" to miss out next week but backed his teammates to complete the job.

"Our game is about working together as a team and we did that brilliantly," he said. "We all chipped in with the hard yards.

"It's only the first leg. I didn't make many fouls in the game so it's disappointing to miss out next week."

Liverpool are red hot favourites to advance to the semi-final stage for the first time since 2008 and need just one goal to leave City needing five goals to progress.

"But we lost 5-0 there last time," Klopp said.

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