Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola insists his team are still not ready to fight for the Champions League title despite coming back from behind to beat Schalke.
The Premier League champions took the lead as they capitalised on a mistake to allow Sergio Aguero to tap in from close range. However, their night took a turn for the worse when Schalke were awarded a penalty after a shot hit Nicolas Otamendi’s hand.
While it was contentious, Nabil Bentaleb stepped up to score before doing so again moments later. City had Otamendi sent off in the second half before Guardiola sent on Leroy Sane.
The former Schalke man scored a stunning free-kick before fellow winger Raheem Sterling scored the winner in stoppage time.
The Citizens showed tremendous determination to grab the victory, but Guardiola insists his team will be punished if they repeat the same performance. “It was a great result,” said Guardiola.
“We gave them two penalties, we gave them a red card, and in this competition that is not too good.
“We are still not ready to fight for the latter stages, that is reality, but the result is good. “We played with incredible personality. We gave two goals when they did absolutely nothing. It is not over, this competition is completely different.”
The second leg will take place at the Etihad Stadium on March 12 and City are now 3.75 favourites to lift the trophy despite Guardiola’s comments. Barcelona are also well fancied at 5.50, while Paris Saint-Germain remain in contention at 6.50.