Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City’s Champions League last-16 tie with Monaco is far from over ahead of this week’s second leg at Stade Louis II.
City lead 5-3 after a pulsating first leg at the Etihad Stadium last month, a game that saw them score three times in the final 20 minutes to assume control of the tie.
But the Blues boss says Monaco’s attacking quality means they have a good chance of overturning the deficit and cited Barcelona’s dramatic comeback against Paris Saint-Germain last week as evidence of what can happen if a team has belief.
“After five mins of our game against Monaco at home, I realised how tough it would be,” he said.
“Every time we lost the ball in the first ten minutes at the Etihad, the way they reacted with [Kylian] Mbappe, [Thomas] Lemar, Bernardo Silva, [Radamel] Falcao, [Benjamin] Mendy and [Djibril] Sidibe, the full backs, I immediately realised that the game will not be done until the 92nd or 93rd minute in Monaco.
“Football shows us a lot of things, especially Barcelona [beating PSG 6-1].
“For me, the most important thing is they never give up. They always had faith they would qualify. It is not easy to have faith when you are 4-0 down against PSG.
“The most important thing is they believed it. After that, anything could happen in football.
“That is what I have to try to convince to my players. The first step is you have to dream to be in the quarter finals, then you have to believe you can be there.
“That is the first step and after that, we will see.”
Watch the second half of Pep's post-Middlesbrough press conference above.