Published: Fri, March 09, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Elyounoussi earns Guardiola praise as Arsenal join race for Basel star

Elyounoussi earns Guardiola praise as Arsenal join race for Basel star

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola criticised his heavily rotated side for "forgetting to attack" despite reaching the Champions League quarter-finals 5-2 on aggregate over Basel on Wednesday.

City had extended their aggregate advantage early on when Gabriel Jesus tapped home after just eight minutes. Passing the ball means to pass the ball to move the opponents to attack, but to pass for the sake of passing is nothing.

Runaway Premier League leaders City were content to play their trademark possession football but Basel's endeavours were rewarded in the 72nd minute.

"Since we were together here with Sergio, I think the last month, two months is the best Sergio I have seen", said Guardiola, preparing his team for the visit of Basel in the Champions League on Wednesday. "That's why we don't create the feeling we can score a goal". "Of course we are delighted with the result we have done [in the first leg] but in football everything can happen".

The Swiss team pulled up its socks for the second leg of the tie and came into Manchester with all guns blazing.

"From tomorrow we will be happy to be in the quarter-final for the second time at this club", Guardiola told a post-match news conference.

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The Stockport-born midfielder made his City debut in November in the Champions League group match against Feyenoord and has since featured in the Premier League and Carabao Cup, including the final at Wembley where Arsenal were thumped 3-0.

"You will find in all the clubs in the world", Guardiola said, "that when you make six changes, the team is not the same". "In 180 minutes, it is 5-2, so we are so happy to be in the next stage", he said.

"We've worked hard to be here, we're in a very difficult position but we have to enjoy this game, give our all and forget the first leg". At that level, all the teams will be so tough, so demanding.

With a 2-2 first leg draw and the game open to both sides, Tottenham started at a blistering pace, with Son Heung-Min's scuffed effort giving the lead on 39th-minute mark. "We want to be ready if we have to play them".

He said: "It wasn't an easy situation but they produced a really good performance".

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