Guardiola seeks perfect Champions League group record
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is relishing the opportunity to end the Champions League group stage with maximum points when his side face Shakhtar Donetsk away tomorrow morning (Singapore time).
Only five other teams have achieved this feat in the competition's history - AC Milan (1992-93), Paris Saint-Germain (1994-95), Spartak Moscow (1995-96), Barcelona (2002-03) and Real Madrid (2011-12 and 2014-15).
If City, who are on a 28-game unbeaten run in all competitions, defeat Shakhtar, it will also be a boost ahead of the Manchester Derby in the Premier League on Sunday.
|SHAKHTAR DONETSK||MAN CITY|
"It is a big opportunity to get 18 points out of 18, which is prestigious for the club. The best way to prepare for the Manchester United game is playing good against Shakhtar," Guardiola said.
Shakhtar will also be through to the last 16 if they avoid defeat or if Napoli do not beat Feyenoord in the other group game.
Off the pitch, the City manager will face no sanctions following a bizarre post-match rant aimed at Southampton's Nathan Redmond after the Premier League leaders stole a late 2-1 win on Nov 30.
Guardiola harangued the Southampton midfielder following his side's victory and the English Football Association gave him until Monday to respond.
It initially appeared Guardiola was confronting Redmond to complain about something but he said afterwards he was complimenting the player.
This was later corroborated by Redmond himself. Guardiola conceded he should not have approached Redmond in such a way but could not contain his emotions in the exhilarating aftermath of Raheem Sterling's late goal.
Britain's Press Association reported on Monday that the FA accepted the Spaniard's version of events and will not take the matter further. - AFP
Man City are through as group winners. Shakhtar will go through if they avoid defeat or if Napoli do not win. Napoli must win and hope Shakhtar lose.