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Begiristain: Manchester City need to be almost perfect to beat Liverpool

16 March 2018 13:09

Manchester City director of football Txiki Begiristain says his side will have to be "almost perfect" to progress through a Champions League quarter-final with Liverpool.

Friday's draw paired the Premier League rivals together, with Liverpool the only side to have beaten City in the league so far this season.

Liverpool won 4-3 at Anfield to gain revenge for a 5-0 thumping received at the Etihad Stadium, when Sadio Mane was shown an early red card for a high challenge on Ederson.

Begiristain suggested City would have preferred to have avoided Liverpool but expects an entertaining match, with Liverpool hosting the first leg on April 4.

"It's a very difficult one," Begiristain said. "We like to travel and to go to another country in the Champions League but it is what it is.

"We know each other very well, they are a very offensive team, the truth is it is going to be a great couple of games and we are going to see good football.

"In the Champions League there is no time for mistakes, everything has to work, you have to be almost perfect in both games. 

"We know the power and the strength of Liverpool - in the league they beat us away and we beat them at home."

The tie between Liverpool and Manchester City will be the first meeting between two English sides in the Champions League quarter-finals since the 2010-11 season, when Chelsea played Manchester United.

And Liverpool legend Ian Rush, a European Cup winner with the club in 1984, hopes the atmosphere at Anfield will put his old club in a strong position ahead of their return match at the Etihad Stadium on April 10.

"It's going to be a great advert for the Premier League, that's what it's all about, we've beaten them and they've beaten us so it's all to play for," Rush said. 

"Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus - this is a bit different. The good thing is we know them and they know us, it's going to be really interesting.

"I think before the draw Manchester City were the favourites, it'll be interesting to see what happens now. Obviously they'll be favourites to beat Liverpool, but sometimes we like being underdogs.

"It makes me happy that City and Liverpool play an open game, that's why it was 4-3 at Anfield. With the game at City, the sending-off changed the game and that's what happened.

"I think it'll be very entertaining and hopefully on the day our support in the first leg with an electric atmosphere at Anfield, hopefully we can take advantage before going to City."

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