Press preview Kyiv clash
- 15 March 2016 07:52
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
It’s matchday. City host Dynamo Kyiv in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash and media outlets around the world are sharing their thoughts.
The Blues head into the tie with a 3-1 aggregate lead from the encounter in Ukraine and are looking to secure a place in the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time.
Rob Pollard explains: “It's been well documented that City have struggled in the Champions League since they first qualified back in 2011.
“Results have been patchy and their performances often underwhelming.
“This season has seen some improvement. City topped their group for the first time and have looked more comfortable, almost as though they now believe they belong on the European stage.
“If they can get past Kiev, and with a 3-1 lead from the away leg already secured it seems likely, they will make history and qualify for the quarter-finals for the first time.
“That would be a huge boost psychologically going into the club's next phase of development under Pep Guardiola.”
BT Sport agree the Blues’ chances of progression are high. In their Talking Points feature, it’s predicted: “With such a good lead, City should not blow it from here. Kiev, however, are no mugs, as they proved in the first leg.
“After a poor first half owing much to a lack of competitive action in the previous 11 weeks, Kiev rallied after the break and went close to making the score 2-2 before Yaya Toure scored late to seal the 3-1 win.”
The article also raises the question as to whether Pellegrini’s side can win the tournament. The response reads: “On their day, City are arguably the best side in England, and they should be able to trouble most teams in Europe.
“But a lot would still depend on the draws for the quarter- and semi-finals because there are some sides – notably Barcelona and Bayern Munich – they would rather avoid.
“If they can somehow steer clear of the big guns until the final they might have a chance, but it is difficult to see them negotiating a way past the very best over two legs.”
In other news, the Telegraph claim Toure would like to stay in the Premier League, should he leave the Etihad Stadium.
According to Sam Wallace: “The 32-year-old has one year left on his City contract and the expectation has long been that Guardiola’s arrival will spell the end for a figure who has been at the heart of the club establishing itself as one of the powers in English football.
“Toure’s preference would be to see his current deal out at City.
“Approaches have been made for Toure from Inter Milan and clubs in the Chinese Super League over the season, but if he does leave City, the midfielder, who turns 33 in May, has let it be known that he is adamant he wants to stay in England.”
Elsewhere, the Daily Mail run a story on comments made by Bayern Munich star Douglas Costa, who has hailed incoming City boss Guardiola.
The winger told ESPN: “He tells me to be happy and to use my talent.
“Guardiola is exceptional. I've never seen anything like it.
“The way he works is something new to me.”
That's all for today. Let us know your thoughts on tonight's game on Twitter, using #CMONCITY, and don't forget to cast your score and line-up predictions in the City Matchday app!