Man City weren't clinical enough, says coach Guardiola

Soccer Football - Champions League - Round of 16 First Leg - Borussia Moenchengladbach v Manchester City - Puskas Arena, Budapest, Hungary - February 24, 2021 Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus celebrates scoring their second goal with Bernardo Silva REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Manchester City were not clinical enough despite beating Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday, coach Pep Guardiola said.

Guardiola's side have now won their last 19 games in all competitions but the Spaniard said they should have finished off their chances better in the round-of-16 first leg.

"The first leg is always more difficult. Up front, we have to be more clinical," Guardiola said.

"The one-against-one (for Gabriel Jesus) against the keeper. In this competition, you have to be perfect to make sure that you go through."

Jesus who scored their second goal in the 65th minute had 10 minutes earlier squandered a golden chance when he hesitated with only the Gladbach keeper to beat.

"In general, it was good. We controlled the game and conceded a chance at the end," Guardiola said. "Unfortunately, we were not clinical enough up front, especially when we were one-on-one against the keeper. We have to improve on that."

The Germans knew their opponents would dominate possession and that they would only have a few chances to threaten City, who have never failed to win a European tie after an away first-leg victory.

"Manchester City were really good in possession, which meant we did a lot of running tonight," said Gladbach's Florian Neuhaus. "We had the odd chance in transition here and there but did not execute them cleanly."

"We wanted to be courageous with our limited chances and I felt we did that well at times. We have to be braver in the second leg."

City were never troubled by the Germans until deep in stoppage time, and scored once in either half through Bernardo Silva and Jesus to remain the overwhelming favourites for a spot in the last eight.

They also extended their unbeaten run to 26 games in all competitions and are bookmakers' favourites for the Champions League as well.

"When I see how Bayern Munich played yesterday (winning 4-1 at Lazio), I do not think so," Guardiola said when asked about City being favourites to win the trophy.

"It is a big challenge to recover the players and make sure they are in the best possible condition. If people want to say we are favourites, it’s okay – we will accept it."

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Toby Davis)

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