Manchester City face a huge uphill task on Wednesday night as they take on Spanish giants Barcelona at the Camp Nou. Manuel Pellegrini’s side are 2-1 down after the first leg, with the killer blow being the two away goals conceded at the Etihad.
There may be a temptation to take the game to Luis Enrique’s men, looking to steal an away goal back quickly, but this plays perfectly into Barcelona’s hands. Man City need to look towards Paris Saint-Germain as an example of what can be done with patience, and although their task is tougher, the game plan is there to be followed.
“Mentally we must be very focused,” said the Argentina international.
“If you look at the game Real Madrid played against Schalke and the same with Chelsea and PSG, it shows anything can happen in football.
“That’s why we need to go to Barca with confidence, with belief, and try to do our best to win that game.
“We have played in this competition for four years. It’s a competition we want to make progress in.
“Now we are going to play against one of the best teams in the world. It’s not going to be easy - but nothing is impossible in football.”
PSG went to Stamford Bridge knowing they needed to score to have any chance of qualifying, and after losing Zlatan Ibrahimovic to a red card and going behind twice on the night, they kept their nerve and managed to sneak through on away goals.
Pellegrini’s tactics on Wednesday should not be to attack from the outset, but to keep Barcelona quiet. Pressure the Spanish midfield, don't give them time on the ball and look to hit on the break for the first 45 minutes. If opportunities to attack develop, you have to take them, but there is no point going gung-ho.
If you give Barcelona too much space in behind your defence, there are not many teams better at exploiting those opportunities.
Patience is the key on Wednesday night. Manchester City have the players to score against Barcelona, the trick will be picking the right moments to push forward as a team. Do that well and they could provide the Champions League with another shock result.