March 07, 2018

Guardiola fires warning to players ahead of Basel clash


Manchester City may enjoy a 4-0 aggregate lead over their Champions League opposition, but manager Pep Guardiola has warned his players not to lose their heads against Basel.

The Premier League leaders are set to face the Swiss underdogs in the second leg of their Round of 16 tie at the Etihad on Wednesday night after thrashing them 4-0 in the first fixture.

However, with only a collapse of epic proportions standing in City's way of a quarter-final berth, their Spanish manager does not want any red cards or suspensions to hamper their chances in the latter stages.

"A Champions League game is something special," said Guardiola. "In football, everything can happen – a red card, they can score one or two goals.

"If what happened in Wigan happens in the Champions League — with the red card for Fabian Delph after 44 minutes — you don't win the Champions League.

"With the action from Oleksandr Zinchenko in the first half on Victor Moses [against Chelsea], it was an 'orange'. It could be yellow, it could be red. If it's red, you are out of the Champions League.

"We are almost in the Champions League quarter-finals but we are not [yet]. That is why we have to be calm. That's the best advice I can give to my players."

Manchester City may enjoy a 4-0 aggregate lead over their Champions League opposition, but manager Pep Guardiola has warned his players not to lose their heads against Basel.

The Premier League leaders are set to face the Swiss underdogs in the second leg of their Round of 16 tie at the Etihad on Wednesday night after thrashing them 4-0 in the first fixture.

However, with only a collapse of epic proportions standing in City's way of a quarter-final berth, their Spanish manager does not want any red cards or suspensions to hamper their chances in the latter stages.

"A Champions League game is something special," said Guardiola. "In football, everything can happen – a red card, they can score one or two goals.

"If what happened in Wigan happens in the Champions League — with the red card for Fabian Delph after 44 minutes — you don't win the Champions League.

"With the action from Oleksandr Zinchenko in the first half on Victor Moses [against Chelsea], it was an 'orange'. It could be yellow, it could be red. If it's red, you are out of the Champions League.

"We are almost in the Champions League quarter-finals but we are not [yet]. That is why we have to be calm. That's the best advice I can give to my players."