Man City v Borussia Dortmund: I don’t need to learn – Mancini
Man City v Borussia Dortmund: Roberto Mancini insists he does not "need to learn" how to approach Champions League games
Roberto Mancini insists he “does not need to learn” how his side should play in the Champions League ahead of the Citizens’ clash against Borussia Dortmund at the Etihad Stadium.
City lost 3-2 to Real Madrid in their opening Group D game despite leading 2-1 with just four minutes of normal time remaining at the Bernabeu.
It continued a miserable run away from home in the Champions League, with City suffering defeats at Bayern Munich and Napoli as they failed to reach the last-16 last term.
Mancini, who was unable to guide Internazionale past the quarter-finals during a four-year spell at the San Siro, pinpointed the higher standard of opponent as the reason for City’s struggles in the competition.
“I don’t need to learn,” said Mancini. “The Champions League is a difficult competition, but the football is the same, the players are the same, it is still 11 versus 11. The problem is that you play the best teams from other countries. Every game is difficult.
“I think the time will come when we can win the Champions League but in this moment we are in a difficult group. Sometimes, when you play in the Champions League, you should be lucky with the draw. It is important for us to get into the second stage because, after that, anything can happen.”
Mancini is confident the Citizens can get to grips with Europe’s premier club competition, pointing to their drastic improvement in the Premier League which resulted in their first top-flight title since 1968 in May.
“We are as good a team as Manchester United and Arsenal. Look how we have improved in the Premier League,” said Mancini.
“I think we need time to improve in the Champions League but we do not have time – we have only five matches and we cannot concede goals like we did against Real Madrid.
“If we want to go through, we have to improve quickly.”
Manchester City v Borussia Dortmund: Pre-match facts
• City are undefeated in 17 matches in Uefa competition at the City of Manchester Stadium and will look to maintain that run when they host Group D rivals Borussia Dortmund.
• The Citizens have recorded three wins and a draw against German visitors, most recently a 2-0 success against Bayern Munich in their final match of last season’s group stage – albeit not enough to spare them elimination.
• Dortmund lost all three away fixtures in last term’s group stage, including a 2-1 reverse at Arsenal, which means they have been defeated on their last three visits to England.
• Dortmund beat Manchester United 1-0 through a goal by Lars Ricken at Old Trafford, now head of the club’s youth department, to secure a 2-0 aggregate success in the 1996-97 Champions League semi-final en route to winning the trophy.