Football

Dominating Manchester City defence reaches 15-year Champions League high

What was said?

Speaking to BT Sport after Tuesday’s game, City goalscorer Kevin De Bruyne said: “It’s always important when you are stable as a defence and team. Obviously it gives the whole team confidence. It’s really nice for Ederson and the defenders.”

Head coach Pep Guardiola added: “We only conceded one goal against Porto – that is impressive. It’s an incredible step forward for the team.

“Everyone runs a lot, not just the strikers. But it’s important to understand that we defend with the ball. We have to be aggressive without the ball. All the teams right now, the quality they have, they can punish you.”

The big picture

Man City have played eight matches in the Champions League this season and have kept clean sheets in seven of them.

The only time City have conceded in Europe this season was the opening matchday – a 3-1 win over Porto. Only Ajax in 1995-96 equalled City’s feat of conceding just once in their first eight Champions League matches of the season.

City have easily the best defensive record in the Premier League, having conceded just 21 times in 30 games. 

The team’s backline, led by centre-backs John Stones, Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte, has City in contention for a quadruple, with the team leading the Premier League and having advanced to the FA Cup quarter-final and the Carabao Cup final.

Pep Guardiola’s side have been nearly unbeatable in recent months, winning 24 of their last 25 matches in all competitions.

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