Pep Guardiola says Manchester City do not fear drawing a Premier League side in the quarterfinals of the Champions League despite being knocked out of the competition by an English team in three of the last four campaigns.
City booked their place in the last eight with a comfortable 5-0 aggregate victory over Sporting Lisbon after a 0-0 draw at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night.
Liverpool will also be in the hat for the draw in Nyon on March 18 and could be joined by Manchester United and Chelsea if they make it past Atletico Madrid and Lille, respectively.
But asked if he wanted to avoid the other Premier League teams after losing in the quarterfinals to Liverpool in 2018, Tottenham Hotspur in 2019 and in last season’s final to Chelsea, Guardiola said: “I would say no.
“It’s difficult for us and them too and for opponents from other countries.
“We are in the last eight and we’ll prepare well and next Friday we’ll see the draw. It’s an honour as important teams are out.”
Like City and Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are already assured of their place in the quarterfinals. They will be joined by four teams from United, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Lille, Juventus, Villarreal, Benfica and Ajax when the final last-16 ties are completed next week.
“The four teams in the last eight already are not bad at all,” Guardiola said.
“Now we are again in the quarterfinals as the best eight teams in Europe. I learn to enjoy the moments.
“I celebrate it because I know how difficult it is. When you go through every opponent is difficult.
“Now it’s time to congratulate everyone, focus on the Premier League then next week we will see the draw.”
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