Citizens spirit pleases Guardiola

10 January 2018 04:01:47 EST

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola praised the spirit of his players after they were pushed all the way in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final by Bristol City.

A last-gasp Sergio Aguero header gave the hosts a 2-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium, setting up a tense return leg at Ashton Gate later this month.

We are still in the tie, the buzz continues and the build-up to the game will be very exciting.

Lee Johnson

And Guardiola was pleased to see his side finally get the job done against the Championship promotion hopefuls.

He told reporters: "Without that spirit you can't win trophies in any competition in the world.

"It is easy in the good moments to handle the situation, but it is even better in the bad moments when you find out how you react to those situations.

"That is why we succeed so much in those situations and that is going to be really important, I would say essential, in competitions like the Champions League."

Guardiola was also fulsome in his praise for the Robins, who took a positive approach to the game and who are still well in the tie heading into the home second leg in a fortnight.

He added: "Both teams tried to play. It is of benefit for football, for fans and for everyone when two teams they go to the pitch and they want to play.

"When that happens it is up to us to find a way to overcome them. We have faced all kind of teams this season who have played in all kinds of ways, but we have always found the formula or the way to beat them."

Meanwhile, Bristol boss Lee Johnson was excited after seeing his players perform so well against the runaway Premier League leaders, adding: "It is half-time (in the tie) and we have got the away goal and that is important.

"We are still in the tie, the buzz continues and the build-up to the game will be very exciting."

Bristol City can now be backed at 20/1 to reach the League Cup final, with Manchester City 1/50, while the Citizens are 3/10 to lift the trophy at Wembley next month.

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