City can turn page, says Aguero

Man City's Sergio Aguero (left) and Fabian Delph (far left) during training. Having qualified for the last 16, City want a win in Turin tonight to seal top spot in Group D and avoid top guns in the last 16.
Man City's Sergio Aguero (left) and Fabian Delph (far left) during training. Having qualified for the last 16, City want a win in Turin tonight to seal top spot in Group D and avoid top guns in the last 16. PHOTO: REUTERS

He says team no longer Euro greenhorns, Pellegrini wants rebound after loss to Reds

TURIN • Sergio Aguero believes Manchester City have the experience to make a serious challenge for top honours in the Champions League, after the English football club reached the last 16 in the past two seasons.

City play Juventus in Turin tonight having already qualified for the knockout stages with two matches left in Group D.

Manuel Pellegrini's side were eliminated in the last 16 each time by Barcelona but Aguero said: "The first times were difficult, the nerves, the expectations, but now most of us have enough experience.

"We have very good players who are going to do a lot for us and I think we are on the right path."

Aguero is apparently looking far ahead for City play today reeling from a humiliating 4-1 home defeat by Liverpool at the weekend that left them two points behind surprise English Premier League leaders Leicester City.

OLD HANDS NOW

The first times were difficult, the nerves, the expectations, but now most of us have enough experience. We have very good players who are going to do a lot for us and I think we are on the right path.

SERGIO AGUERO, on the knockout stage

The reverse came in the absence of City centre-back and captain Vincent Kompany, as well as forwards Wilfried Bony, David Silva and Samir Nasri - all of whom are still sidelined through injury.

Pellegrini said his side's performance was "not normal", adding: "It's very important to turn the page as soon as we can. We have an important game on Wednesday."

City's 3-1 win away to Sevilla last time out left Pellegrini's men top of Group D on nine points and, with Juventus one point behind in second, they will clinch top spot with a win in Turin today.

"The important thing is to try to recover our performance, said Pellegrini. "We are not going to go to Juventus just to try to draw."

But looking at City's recent form, Juventus have reason to believe they can claim their second successive win over the English club, having stunned Pellegrini's men 2-1 in September when Alvaro Morata hit an 81st-minute winner at the Etihad, and claim top spot ahead of their final game away to Sevilla.

With Paulo Dybala hitting a second-half winner to clinch a 1-0 home win over AC Milan on Saturday, Juventus claimed a third consecutive victory in Serie A for the first time this season.

But coach Massimiliano Allegri's tactical options are limited, with Sami Khedira joining several other midfielders on the treatment table while France left-back Patrice Evra is set for a fitness test after suffering a left ankle problem.

Centre-back Giorgio Chiellini believes Juve's task will not be made any easier by the fact City will be looking for revenge.

"I would have preferred to come up against a more relaxed and secure Manchester," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"Against teams with top players, it's sometimes easier to make the most of your chances if their players are a little more relaxed.

"But I expect them to be cautious, and super-motivated for revenge.

"We need to go out and produce a great performance if we are to stamp our ticket for the last 16."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN


JUVENTUS V MANCHESTER CITY

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2015, with the headline 'CITY CAN TURN PAGE, SAYS AGUERO'. Print Edition | Subscribe