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The German winger did come to life after the first 20 minutes of the game to score 1 and lay out 3 assists. However, being the perfectionist that he is, the City manager wanted to see Sane demonstrate that same aggression right from the opening whistle.
When asked whether the 23-year-old was at his best, Guardiola said, “No. After the first goal, yes. Before, no. He was not aggressive enough in the first 20 minutes. I like when he runs and goes. If he loses the ball, it doesn’t matter. It is the same with Raheem (Sterling) but they are young.”
“I know it is tough for Leroy, he doesn’t play every game, but after 20 minutes he was then outstanding for the goal and the assists. He is a player we know has incredible qualities. It is difficult to find around the world a player with the qualities he has.”
One of the controversial traits of Guardiola is that he loves to play down expectations and then surprise his opposition number. He had previously referred to this City team as a ‘teenager’ among adults in the Champions League.
Addressing his previous comments, the former Barcelona manager said, “When I said we are a teenage team, I didn’t say we are not going to fight. We are going to try. If it doesn’t work, I am sorry, but I assure you next season we are going to try.”
“This competition is incredibly tough, there are incredible teams, so when we are through the group stages I am happy. It is so nice to be in the quarter-finals for the third time in our history.”