Football

Reason for City’s form? We have a lot of money: Pep Guardiola

Money is the reason behind Manchester City's blistering form, manager Pep Guardiola admitted candidly yesterday.

City, who extended their winning streak to 19 games with a 2-0 first-leg victory over Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League's Round of 16 yesterday morning (Singapore time), are the bookmakers' favourites to win the European crown.

Guardiola's men, who hold a 10-point cushion at the top of the English Premier League table and extended their unbeaten run to 26 games in all competitions, are also on course to achieve an unprecedented Quadruple.

When asked what is behind the team's winning run, he said: "We have a lot of money to buy a lot of incredible players.

"It is true. Without good quality players, we cannot do it. The humanity of this group... the players are fantastic and have an incredible relationship. They play every game to think just win that game."

Since he took over in 2016, City have splashed almost £700m (S$1.3 billion) on new players, especially in defence.

Some of his purchases, such as Portuguese attacker Bernardo Silva, who scored the first goal against Gladbach, have been key to his side's form.

Not all of them have shone, however. Striker Gabriel Jesus scored the second goal against the German side, but missed a golden opportunity earlier, prompting Guardiola to remind his players to be more clinical.

He said: "The one-against-one (for Gabriel Jesus) against the 'keeper. In this competition, you have to be perfect to make sure that you go through."

When asked about City being tipped to win their first Champions League, Guardiola said: "When I see how Bayern Munich played yesterday (winning 4-1 at Lazio), I do not think so... it is a big challenge...

"(But ) if people want to say we are favourites, it's okay - we will accept it."

Football