Pep Guardiola reminds Manchester City ‘Europe is special’ after Celtic humbling

'That will be a good lesson' said Pep Guardiola of Manchester City's battling 3-3 draw with Celtic on Wednesday night, 'teams are so strong, it doesn't matter where'.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola shown after the Champions League match against Celtic on Wednesday night. Lee Smith / Reuters
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola shown after the Champions League match against Celtic on Wednesday night. Lee Smith / Reuters

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola expressed hope his players would learn their lesson after losing their 100 per cent season record in a spectacular 3-3 Champions League draw at Celtic.

Aiming to equal Tottenham Hotspur’s English record of 11 straight wins at the start of a season, City had to come from behind three times to earn a point in Wednesday’s Group C clash in Glasgow.

City reached the semi-finals under Manuel Pellegrini last season, but not for the first time, Guardiola pointed to their current shortcomings as a sign of their callowness in continental competition.

“This club was 25, 26 years without playing in Europe and last year was the first time to go further than the quarter-finals,” he told reporters at Celtic Park.

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“So that will be a good lesson. Europe is special, teams are so strong. It doesn’t matter where. The opponent here, Celtic, is an amazing environment, with the fans, and we knew that.

“We had many, many chances to win the game. We scored three goals in Europe away and we created three or four more clear chances.

“So it’s a pity, but that is the best way to learn. In Europe you cannot concede because they are machines. When you concede, when you make mistakes, they are there to punish you.”

City, the Premier League leaders, return to domestic action at Tottenham on Sunday, but Guardiola admitted thoughts would soon turn to the forthcoming double-header with his old club Barcelona.

“I said to my players in the beginning, in this group we’ll decide if we’re able to qualify for the next round in the last game,” said Guardiola, whose side trail Barcelona by two points.

“When you play against Barcelona, it will be tough, but now we try to analyse what we did and we’re going to see what happens in Barcelona and after at home.

“We are now second; we have chances, still. We’re going to recover well, to focus on White Hart Lane, and we have time to think about Barcelona.”

*Agence France-Presse

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Published: September 29, 2016 04:00 AM

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