LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester City will not take their foot of the gas against Basel despite winning the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie 4-0 in Switzerland on Tuesday, according to club captain Vincent Kompany.
Pep Guardiola’s City slickers produced a superb performance with two goals by Ilkay Gundogan and one each for Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero making the second leg a formality.
But defender Kompany says the second leg will be all about making a statement for the rounds ahead as they look to win the competition for the first time having reached the semi-finals two years ago.
“In these kinds of situations, in my opinion, if we have this game at the Etihad and it’s a 3-2 or a 2-2 draw, that won’t give us a good feeling going into the next round,” he said.
“We have shown that we were the better team tonight and only for a lack of motivation and effort could we be not that team again at the Etihad and that’s not permitted.”
City are in the enviable position of being 16 points ahead in the Premier League and virtually assured of a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Yet Guardiola is refusing to look too far ahead.
“My experience in the Champions League last 16 is it is only over after the second game,” he said.
“Of course, we will be focused against Basel at the Etihad, but with Arsenal and Chelsea to play (in the Premier League) it’s important to be focused there, too.
“If we are able to go to the quarter-finals, that’s better than last season. We are still in February. In the Premier League we are in an amazing position, 16 points in front.
“But nothing is won yet. Like we said in the beginning, game by game. We try to arrive focused and win the games.”
City’s four-pronged assault on silverware continues on Monday when they face Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup fifth round.
Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge