Bernardo Silva plays down Manchester City’s favourites tag
The Premier League leaders all but guaranteed a place in the Champions League quarter-finals by thrashing Basel.
Bernardo Silva insists Manchester City cannot be regarded as Champions League favourites despite making yet another powerful statement in Basel.
The Premier League leaders all but guaranteed a place in the quarter-finals by thrashing the Swiss champions 4-0 in the first leg of their last-16 tie at St Jakob-Park on Tuesday.
It was merely the latest in a long line of impressive performances from Pep Guardiola’s side this season, with City also sweeping all before them on the domestic front.
But Silva, who scored City’s second goal on a freezing night in Switzerland, continues to sound a note of caution.
“I think it was an amazing performance,” said the Portugal forward. “To come here and win 4-0 against this team, away from home – it is always so difficult in this competition.
“We started the game very strongly, we scored three (early) goals. We were very happy with this score and we hope we can finish the job at home with our fans.
“But favourites for the Champions League title? No. I think teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich are more used to playing games in this special competition than us.
“Even though we are in a good a moment, and we know we can try to do something, we are not the favourites.”
Basel forward Dimitri Oberlin provided a couple of early scares but City soon took charge, powering ahead with three goals in the space of nine minutes from Ilkay Gundogan, Silva and the in-form Sergio Aguero. Gundogan wrapped up victory with his second early in the second half and might have claimed a hat-trick later on but for a good save by Tomas Vaclik.
Silva has mostly had to make do with substitute appearances since his move from Monaco last summer but has started the last six games and was pleased to get on the scoresheet.
The 23-year-old said: “When you score it is always good. I feel like I am helping the team and I feel very good about that.”