Man City’s Mancini: We’ll look to beat Real Madrid at Bernabeu
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini says his side will travel to the Bernabeu looking to beat La Liga champions Real Madrid
Roberto Mancini insists Manchester City will look to beat Real Madrid in their Champions League opener at the Bernabeu on Tuesday.
The Eastlands outfit were drawn in a daunting-looking group alongside La Liga champions Madrid, back-to-back Eredivisie winners Ajax and Bundesliga holders Borussia Dortmund.
The City manager, who expects to have Sergio Augero available for selection, acknowledged every game in Europe’s premier competition is difficult but insists his side will go for the victory despite the calibre of their opposition.
“Our mentality is not to go there – to Madrid or anywhere – for a draw, or to lose. We want to win always. But we know it will be a tough game. We play against one of the best teams in the world, but we want to do our job well,” Mancini said.
“I think it will be a fantastic game, and a fantastic for moment for everyone at the club.
“But when you play Champions League, every team is a top team, every game is difficult.
“If you play against Real or Barca, you are up against 100 years of history, they won everything. For this reason, I also think it will be difficult.”
Mancini’s side were eliminated in the group stage last season after Bayern Munich and Napoli finished ahead of City – but the Italian is confident his squad have learned vital lessons from the experience.
“We start again on a difficult pitch against a top team, and we should be ready for it to be very difficult, because they have fantastic players, fantastic history,” he went on.
“But we have 23 or 24 players, players with experience, having played Champions League, they know this atmosphere. For all our players, this is good experience.
“After the group stage, if we have got the same points as last year, I think we go will through this time.”
Real Madrid v Manchester City: Pre match facts
• Madrid won six straight home matches in last season’s competition, scoring 24 goals. Including the 4-0 defeat of Tottenham Hotspur in the 2010-11 quarter-finals, Madrid have a home record of W5 D4 L2 against English visitors.
• City lost three of five games on their European travels in 2011-12 as they finished behind Bayern Munich and Napoli in Champions League Group A.
• Jose Mourinho replaced Roberto Mancini as Internazionale coach in 2008. Mourinho had got the better of the Italian when Porto beat Mancini’s Lazio 4-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals of the 2002-03 Uefa Cup.
• Mourinho suffered his first defeat as Chelsea manager against City – 1-0 in Manchester in October 2004 – but ended with a record of W4 D1 L1 against them.