August 14, 2022

‘There’s got to be a bit of nastiness in their game’

Former Manchester City defender Micah Richards believes Pep Guardiola’s side need to add ‘nastiness’ to their game in order to win the Champions League.

The Premier League side exited the Champions League at the semi-final stage after suffering a dramatic 6-5 aggregate defeat to Real Madrid.

Guardiola’s side – who came into the second leg with a 4-3 aggregate lead after overcoming Madrid in the first leg last week – looked as though they were heading towards a final against rivals Liverpool after a 73rd minute strike from Riyad Mahrez put them 5-3 ahead on aggregate.

However, in a truly remarkable turn of events, Madrid substitute Rodrygo scored two goals in the final few minutes before Karim Benzema sent Ederson the wrong way from the penalty spot in extra-time to send Los Blancos to the final.

City have been criticised for throwing away a two-goal lead in the final few minutes of the tie, and Richards believes that City need to become ‘nasty’ in order to see those sort of games out.

Speaking on Sky Sports, the 33-year-old said: “In Europe, Man City have still got work to do. They got to a final, lost to Chelsea, and then they go out to Real Madrid having had a two-goal advantage at the time.

“There’s got to be a bit of nastiness in their game, being able to see out stuff, Man City don’t deal that well with pressure, the Champions League shows you that.

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“But in the league, they’ve been fantastic and today they showed everyone why they are champions.”

City cruise past Newcastle

Guardiola’s men were able to get over the disappointment of their Champions League semi-final exit at Madrid to thrash Newcastle United 4-0 on Sunday and open a three-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

Raheem Sterling headed the home side in front after 19 minutes, before Aymeric Laporte added a second before half-time after Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka fumbled Ilkay Gundogan’s volley.

Midfielder Rodri made it 3-0 with a near-post header from Kevin de Bruyne’s inviting corner. Substitute Phil Foden also scored towards the end of the tie before Sterling completed the rout to make it 5-0.

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