Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has claimed that his side is not ready to challenge for the Champions League title just yet.

By 90Min
February 21, 2019

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has claimed that his side is not ready to challenge for the Champions League, despite their dramatic victory over Schalke.

Sergio Aguero provided the Citizens with an early lead, however the Miners managed to overturn the score in dramatic fashion before the half-time whistle as City gifted the Royal Blues two penalties.

City's night went from bad to worse in the second half, as Otamendi saw a second yellow card for bringing down Guido Burgstaller, leaving them down to 10 men for the last 20 minutes of the match. 

An amazing free kick from Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling's clutch winner in the 90th minute allowed Guardiola and the Citizens to return to England with the victory and three away goals, however the Catalan was understandably concerned with the form his side showed at the Veltins Arena.

Speaking post-match, as quoted by Sky Sports, he said: "In this level we don't have a chance. Still we are not ready to fight for the Champions League. After the red card maybe if they'd pushed more and scored a third or fourth then maybe we're out.

"The result is incredible, three goals away, but we gave away the goals and the red card.

"It is not over. Hopefully our fans can help us in the second leg and hopefully we can improve for the future."

Guardiola also referred to the refereeing and most notably VAR, as the game was halted for three minutes to analyse whether Otamendi handled the ball for Schalke's opening goal, but the City boss said he had no qualms with the official's decisions.

"I'm a big fan of VAR," he added. "The second one is a penalty too. It was offside too - so, if we complain about VAR maybe it was offside, but it was a penalty and the red card can be a red card.

"VAR needs time. Next time it will be better."

City will have a clear advantage in the second leg, as Schalke will need to win by two clear goals or a result of at least 4-3 to advance, and Guardiola admitted that Sane and Sterling saved their skin.

"The game was played good, in the end the quality was from Leroy (Sane) - the big players have the quality. The action from Raheem delivered too."

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