Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City side transformed the Premier League over the last two seasons but Ilkay Gundogan admitted that the Cityzens struggled to maintain the same level. While many expected the Cityzens to retain their title, Liverpool changed that as they sped away with the title.
Pep Guardiola’s first season with Manchester City saw his status as one of the best managers in the world challenged but things changed after that. New additions and changes to his side have seen Manchester City dominate the English top flight as they lifted their third Premier League title with an all-time points record of 100. They would retain that trophy with another spectacular title race last season edging Liverpool by just one point on the final day.
However, while many expected City to retain the title for a third year, things changed as Liverpool transformed the course of the title race. Instead, the Reds started the season well and have continued in the same vein with them on par to lift their first Premier League title. That has shocked many but Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan admitted that the Cityzens struggled to maintain the same levels as they had in previous years and that saw Liverpool leave them behind.
“We were left behind in the championship race this season in the Premier League. We couldn't show an effect like the last two seasons [when] we are champions. Whether we play good football or play good matches, there are points we have simply lost. Liverpool came to this level without losing many points, so we lost a lot of points, so the difference increased,” Gundogan confessed to Turkish news outlet Fanatik.
Before the suspension of football, the Cityzens were set to face Real Madrid in the second leg of their last 16 clash in the Champions League against Real Madrid. The reigning Premier League champions were walking into the second leg with a 2-1 away goals lead but the enforced break has changed things. Yet Gundogan believes that while Real Madrid will be tough opponents, Manchester City can still beat them.
“In the last 16 first games of the Champions League, we beat Real Madrid on the road 2-1. It would be a great success if we eliminated them. The quality of Real Madrid is obvious. The teams that have won the most Champions League and are very experienced. So we have to be careful. We have no fear of them. Our ambition is also quite high. Of course we want to pass the tour, but the opponent is Real Madrid. The rematch will be very difficult,” he added.
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