Football

Pep: City not failures in Europe last term

Manchester City's previous Champions League campaign was not a "failure" despite their loss to Chelsea in the final, manager Pep Guardiola said ahead of their Group A opener against RB Leipzig tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

City were denied their first Champions League title after Chelsea's 1-0 win in Porto in May.

The 50-year-old said City used the disappointment of their quarter-final exit to Lyon in 2019/20 to aid their run to last season's final and he hopes that the result against Chelsea will similarly fuel their progress.

"Man City made a step forward last season, we improved a lot," Guardiola said. "We had 13 games and we won 11. We played incredibly well in Porto when we drew and deserved to win.

"People can say Man City was a failure, but it was an incredible achievement last season playing really well in many of the games and losing against a big contender."

Guardiola, who was criticised for tinkering with his team selection in the final, has picked the same starting XI for the last three matches.

It remains to be seen if City's Phil Foden and Kevin de Bruyne, both unused substitutes during last Saturday's 1-0 win over Leicester City, will feature against Leipzig. They have just recovered from ankle injuries.

The other Group A tie pits Lionel Messi's Paris Saint-Germain against their Belgian hosts, Club Brugge. - REUTERS

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