Champions League

Guardiola urges Man City to be sharper in front of goal

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Pep Guardiola (Getty Images)
Pep Guardiola (Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola claimed his Manchester City side would need to sharpen up in front of goal after labouring to a hard-earned 3-0 win over Olympiacos in the Champions League.

City ultimately looked comfortable as they maintained their 100 per cent start in Group C but they needed late goals from fit-again Gabriel Jesus and Joao Cancelo to wrap up the win.

Ferran Torres gave City a 10th-minute lead as they made a strong start at the Etihad Stadium but Olympiacos were in the ascendancy before substitute Jesus turned the game decisively in their favour on 81 minutes.

Guardiola said: “We missed the chances to score more goals, in that way we have to finish the game. At 1-0 the game is open, they created chances.

“But when we got the second the game was over, and the first half was really good. The last pass and last shot were not perfect but, in general, the first half and the last 15 minutes were really good.”

Guardiola was pleased to see Jesus on the scoresheet on his return from a thigh injury.

City have been operating without a specialist centre forward in recent weeks and the Brazilian’s return gives them greater threat ahead of this weekend’s clash with Premier League champions Liverpool.

Guardiola said: “It was important, of course, the fact he’s back. It’s good news, especially for the striker to score a brilliant goal. I’m delighted with most of the game and happy that Gabriel is back.”

Winger Torres has played as a makeshift in the absence of Jesus and Sergio Aguero and Guardiola has been impressed with the Spaniard.

He said: “He played really well again. It was a brilliant goal. He moved really well with and without the ball.

“He’s growing, he’s already scored a lot of goals and we are happy with his performance.”

Guardiola now hopes to take advantage of a break in Manchester’s recent poor weather to prepare for the visit of Liverpool on Sunday.

He said: “I saw the forecast and there is sunshine in Manchester. They’ll have regeneration, a day off and then two days.

“Now it is time to enjoy the victory, the position in the table and move forward.”

Olympiacos coach Pedro Martins felt his side pushed City well but paid the price for a poor first-half display.

He said: “We didn’t start very well. That is something we have to sort out. It doesn’t happen all the time but today we were exceptionally bad in the first half.

“We let City dominate the first half and we gave them a lot of space. It is something we have to address.

“We showed in the second half we could be a lot better. We improved our performance.

“We had a few opportunities to score and for 30-35 minutes if one team was going to score it was Olympiacos.”

- TEAMtalk media

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