Vincent Kompany warns rivals there will be no let-up from Manchester City
Pep Guardiola’s side remain on course for an unprecedented quadruple.
Vincent Kompany says Manchester City have no intention of easing up in their relentless charge through four competitions – no matter who the opponent.
The runaway Premier League leaders and Carabao Cup finalists delivered yet another powerful statement as they thrashed Swiss champions Basel 4-0 in the Champions League last 16 on Tuesday.
The emphatic victory all but guaranteed Pep Guardiola’s side a place in the quarter-finals but captain Kompany insists there will be no drop in intensity for the second leg at the Etihad Stadium next month.
And the Belgium defender’s words could also serve as a warning to League One leaders Wigan, who are City’s next opponents in the fifth round of the FA Cup next week.
Kompany said: “It’s cliche but our mindset is just focus on the next game. We have just as much desire to play well against Wigan on Monday as we did here in Basel. There will be no difference.
“We will also go into the League Cup final with the same kind of preparation and self-belief as we did for the game here and, as long as that doesn’t change, and the intensity stays at that level, every game is exciting for us.”
Kompany felt City hit a high level on a freezing night at St Jakob-Park and could even have scored more goals.
He said: “The key thing for me was the effort was just as good as in all previous games. Our intensity in covering the ball, our passing, our movement – there were so many good things to take out of this game.
“OK, we could be more clinical but it was 4-0. We have got a return game to have another good performance.”
City survived a couple of early scares as Basel forward Dimitri Oberlin went through on goal and then had a penalty appeal but the visitors soon took charge.
Three goals in the space of nine first-half minutes from Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and the in-form Sergio Aguero effectively killed the tie.
Gundogan wrapped up the win early in the second half and should have completed a hat-trick when he shot at Tomas Vaclik late on.
City are likely to face tougher tests in the latter stages but, after years of underachievement, they now look at home in the Champions League.
Midfielder Fernandinho has experienced most of that frustration – and Kompany all of it – and the Brazilian hopes City are now ready to join the elite of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich at the top.
Muy bien primer paso en octavos de la Champions. A seguir así! Y felicitaciones @IlkayGuendogan por el doblete 👊👊 // A strong first step in the #UCL Round of 16. Let's keep it up! Props to @IlkayGuendogan for the brace 👊👊 C'mon City! pic.twitter.com/fmmeBkR12I— Sergio Kun Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) February 13, 2018
Fernandinho said: “I’ve been here for five years and I’ve shared some painful days in Champions League with him (Kompany), so we want to change it.
“I know the way is hard but we’re working a lot to try to end the dominance of those three clubs.
“But like I’ve said – game by game. We’ve made a great performance here and we have to do it again at home to think about the quarter-finals.”