Football

City have turned past Champions League failures into a positive: Jesus

Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus said his side are stronger for previous disappointments in the Champions League coveted by their Abu Dhabi owners.

City manager Pep Guardiola - who has not lifted the Champions League since his second success with Barcelona in 2011 - and the squad fly to Portugal today, ahead of Sunday morning's (Singapore time) quarter-final with Lyon.

"We have to dream. I'm a dreamer and can picture myself with the trophy on my hands," Jesus told British media.

"But I know the reality is different, we have to work, to show our dedication. To win is the most important thing."

The 23-year-old Brazilian added that the players had turned disappointments in Europe's premier club competition into a positive.

Under Guardiola, they have exited in the quarter-finals the past two years to English rivals Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. Before that, AS Monaco eliminated them in the last 16.

"As a group, we have matured from being knocked out of the previous editions," said Jesus.

"We've learnt to suffer."

Teammate Raheem Sterling said Jesus is definitely not playing second fiddle to veteran striker Sergio Aguero, with the pair having scored 23 goals each in all competitions.

"Jesus is not a sub, we've got two great strikers here," he said.

The 25-year-old England international also said City had to "run their socks off" if they are to beat Lyon.

"They (Lyon) are a great team and it's going to be a difficult one," said Sterling.

"But there are teams in this competition with great quality. We have to keep up the energy and play our football." - AFP

Football