In comments that could be viewed as refreshingly honest or a risky public criticism of his players, the chain-smoking 61-year-old said that his team were struggling to grasp the concept of passing the ball around quickly – a style dubbed “Sarri-ball” by his admirers.
“In training, the ball moves around at 200 kilometres an hour but the strange thing is that doesn’t happen in matches. In training, we work twice as fast as we did tonight,” he added after the 1-0 defeat in the round of 16 first leg.
Before Sarri – who earned his reputation during a three-year stint at Napoli – was appointed in the summer, they had spent five seasons under the more pragmatic Massimiliano Allegri, who repeatedly stressed the importance of “administering the match”.
44: A goal every other game is a good ratio for a forward. Robert Lewandowski, the league’s leading scorer, has put the ball in the back of the net every 85 minutes this season. That’s out of this world. So, try to stay calm when you learn that Haaland ruffles the onion bag every 44 minutes. Bet Now on NaijaBet
1: Haaland was the seventh Bundesliga debutant to hit a hat-trick, but he was the first to do so after coming on as a substitute, emerging from the bench after 56 minutes at the WWK Arena.
Manchester United– Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Lee Grant are the only first-team members out at the moment. Everyone else took part in training on Wednesday, suggesting Axel Tuanzebe is close to a return.
“It’s just the first part, it’s not three points. If one team can overcome this situation, for experience, for everything, it is this club, but of course it is a good result,” Guardiola said.
“I am so proud of course but it is just the first step, we have another game, it is not over. So be calm, enjoy it, enjoy the moment. Have a good dinner, good regeneration, on Sunday we have a final, keep going in the Premier League and prepare the second game against Madrid.” Place bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet
Guardiola again sprung a surprise on a big Champions League night with his team selection as Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Fernandinho were left on the bench.
Jesus was deployed in an unfamiliar role wide on the left, but Sterling’s introduction as a second-half substitute pushed the Brazilian upfront and swung the game in City’s favour.
Frenchman Griezmann struck just before the hour mark in Naples after Dries Mertens had put the hosts ahead in the 30th minute with his 121st Napoli goal, drawing level with Marek Hamsik as the club’s all-time top scorer.
“In the end it’s a draw that is a good result considering that we have another home game,” said Barcelona coach Quique Setien, with his side in a strong position ahead of the second leg at the Camp Nou on March 18.
The clash was the first between the two teams and also a Champions League debut for both Setien and Napoli counterpart Gennaro Gattuso, who took over after the group stage. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
“They didn’t hurt us, they tickled us,” said Gattuso. “It went wrong in one moment and they punished us.”
They were 2-1 down to the Hammers on Monday with 22 minutes to go while they beat Norwich with a solitary 78th-minute goal earlier this month.
Defender Van Dijk praised the mental strength of his teammates, who have won 26 and drawn just one of their 27 Premier League matches.
“Not being nervous, that is the main thing,” he said. “Keep going and keep playing and keep pressing. There will be moments when the opponent is going to have problems if we keep doing the same thing. Bet Now on NaijaBet
“They (West Ham) were a little bit better in the second half than the beginning, they played quite well but I think not being nervous is the main thing.”
Manchester City have won two in a row without conceding since their two-match losing streak. This is Pep Guardiola’s first competitive encounter with old rivals Real Madrid as City head coach. Pressure will be on the Spaniard to deliver this season, particularly with the threat of a Champions League ban next season.
Striker Sadio Mane scored in the 81st minute goal to secure the comeback victory after Liverpool trailed 2-1 at Anfield and they can set a new mark of 19 consecutive wins by beating Watford on Saturday.
City, who have not progressed beyond the semis-finals of Europe’s elite club competition, have been banned by Uefa for the next two seasons following an investigation into alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play rules.
“We have to show our personality. I know that my players, myself, all the club want to fight until the end for this title,” Guardiola told reporters following Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League win over Leicester City. Bet Now on NaijaBet
“It’s the real test. The kings of this competition against one team who aren’t used to playing these kind of games much, as our best performance was one semifinal.
Conversely, Bayern have failed to win just one of their last 11 competitive matches, with the only game they failed to win a 0-0 draw with title rivals RB Leipzig. They’ll hope to earn a similar result to the one they enjoyed on their last visit to London, where they beat Tottenham 7-2.
After losing 2-1 in Germany in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie in midweek, PSG’s defensive weaknesses were again exposed as South Korean international Hwang Ui-jo gave Bordeaux the lead at the Parc des Princes.
A richly entertaining encounter then concluded with Neymar being sent off in stoppage time for a second yellow card for grappling with Bordeaux’s Yacine Adli, leaving the world’s most expensive player facing a suspension.
Another domestic title has looked inevitable for sometime, although it will surely all feel rather hollow should the Qatar-owned club fail to turn around the Dortmund tie when the sides meet again in the second leg on March 11.
Tuchel has come in for criticism after Tuesday’s game, including from Neymar over the handling of his latest injury.
Barca launched an offensive to bring the Brazilian back last year from Paris St Germain yet ultimately failed to agree a price with the Ligue 1 champions. But Messi says the 28-year-old Neymar is looking forward to coming back to the Catalans.
“Neymar has always been a top level player and different to the rest. He is unpredictable, he takes players on and he scores lots of goals. On a sporting level Neymar is one of the best in the world and I’d love for him to come back.”
Spurs have a solid home record in the competition having won 10 of their last 14 Champions League outings in north London and have won four of their last six European meetings with German opposition, with all four wins coming against Borussia Dortmund.
However, their road form has been poor of late, with Nagelsmann overseeing just one win in their last six away matches. They were unbeaten away from home in the group stages, though, picking up seven of nine available points.
This is a tough clash to call. RB Leipzig’s defensive woes means Spurs will be confident of scoring, but the home side have kept just two clean sheets in their last 15 matches. A high scoring clash at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is likely. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Tottenham– Harry Kane and Moussa Sissoko are both ruled out for the home side, while Juan Foyth and Erik Lamela will be assessed having missed the 3-2 win at Aston Villa, though the latter was training with the first team on Tuesday.
The club did not specify how long Son would be out.
Spurs manager Jose Mourinho is already without star striker Harry Kane – side-lined since January with a torn hamstring – and as the club enters a crucial period. Midfielder Moussa Sissoko is another long-term casualty. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7
They host German side Leipzig in a Champions League Last 16 clash on Wednesday and play Chelsea in a match that could prove pivotal to the fourth and final Champions League spot.
United captain Maguire, who escaped sanction for the incident, went on to score a thumping header in the 66th minute to seal the win. Place bet on Live Events 24/7
“Decisions like that are crucial,” added Lampard. “That’s a major part of what VAR was brought in for: a second viewing, different angles. I don’t get why they aren’t looking at the monitor. It should be used.”
That said, the Reds continued their march towards the Premier League title with a 1-0 win at Norwich on Saturday evening and it means they have lost just one of their last 34 competitive matches, and that in itself was a 5-0 Carabao Cup defeat at Aston Villa, where they fielded a hugely inexperienced side. One of their two defeats this season, however, came away from home in the Champions League.
Spanish football regulations allow sides to make emergency signings if they can prove they will be left short if player is ruled out for five months or longer. La Liga’s Medical Committee on Monday confirmed this was the case for Barca. Place bet on Live event 24/7 on NaijaBet
The rules also stipulate that any new signing must either be currently registered at a club in Spain or a free agent, however they will not be permitted to play in the Champions League.
Paris Saint-Germain drew 4-4 with Amiens at the weekend, albeit with a heavily rotated side. The French side have crashed out at this stage of the competition in each of the last three seasons, which simply isn’t good enough for a club with their level of investment.
Pogba, whose future at the club has been the subject of much speculation, is still recovering from an ankle injury that has restricted him to eight United appearances this season. He last featured in a 4-1 win over Newcastle United on Boxing Day.
Pogba was not part of the United group that spent the mid-season break at a training camp in Spain but Solskjaer confirmed the 26-year-old was given permission to do his recovery work somewhere else. Bet Now on NaijaBet
“He’s taken off his cast and started running on the treadmill now, so he’s getting closer,” said the Norwegian.
The Reds can extend their mammoth 22-point lead over Manchester City at Carrow Road on Saturday as they aim to not only win the league for the first time in 30 years, but smash the record books in the process.
Jose Mourinho’s side travel to relegation battlers Aston Villa on Sunday on the back of consecutive league wins, knowing another one will move them one point behind their stuttering London rivals who host Manchester United on Monday.