Manchester City in fitness race ahead of Stoke City trip


Manchester City won the first leg 4-0, and will most likely use that much to rotate their squad and give first team players an opportunity to rest. The loss still came as a surprise particularly after Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus put the home side ahead in the eighth minute on his first start in 2018.

Norway global Elyounoussi scored Basel's equaliser against City before going on to set up the victor for Michael Lang in the second half to cap a fine individual performance.

Speaking after Wednesday evening's defeat, Pep Guardiola said: 'Phil was good and in the second-half he was perhaps the only one who tried to be aggressive.

The result meant City have still not won both legs of a knockout tie in the Champions League, but Guardiola took comfort from the obvious positive. We spoke about that and in the first half. "That's why we don't create the feeling we can score a goal".

Guardiola labelled his team's second-half performance against Basel as "really, really poor" and said their possession play had been largely pointless.

"Many things have happened but it's all because we wanted to vote, because we wanted a legal referendum".

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"But after 1-1 in the second half, it didn't happen".

Ilkay Gundogan said Manchester City still have much to prove before they can be ranked alongside the best of Europe.

In a game they dominated, Tottenham started on the front foot, pressing Juventus all over the pitch and drew first blood in the third minute through Son.

Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City's Champions League fortunes are dependent on how well his side performs in the Premier League. "But if I have to play in a more offensive role, I am happy with that", reflected the former Borussia Dortmund favourite, who is buoyed by a sustained stint avoiding the sidelines.

Not to be outdone, Bravo took it upon himself to show off his own talents: rushing out to onrushing balls with wild abandon, at one point the goalkeeper took on not one but two Basel players, dinking the ball over their heads to the great delight of the crowd. They greeted the Champions League anthem by setting off several flares and they never allowed their noise levels to drop - chanting, clapping and bouncing throughout.

Jesus said: "When you are in the game, without wanting it, you end up thinking about the previous game where you got injured, you have a bit of fear. It is hard to say how it will go in terms of quality and momentum".