Pep Guardiola, the Manchester City manager, has called on his defenders to “maintain this mood” after making it 706 minutes since they last conceded a goal in the UEFA Champions League this season.
Manchester City are only the third team in the Champions League’s history to keep seven consecutive clean sheets, after AC Milan (seven, ending in 2005) and Arsenal (10, ending in 2006).
Guardiola believes City will face a stronger opponent in the last-8 after eliminating Borussia Monchengladbach in the last-16 on Tuesday night.
“What happened in the past is the past,” Guardiola said at his post-match press conference.
“The quarter-finals, one bad game, bad moments, bad minutes, they can punish you with their quality.
“Right now, all the teams will be so big. We only conceded one goal against Porto. That is impressive.
“It’s an incredible step forward for the team. Everyone runs a lot, not just the strikers. But it is important to understand that we defend with the ball.
“We have to be aggressive without the ball. All the teams right now, the quality they’ve, they can punish you.
“After the international break, we’ll have time to think. The quality every time is higher, and hopefully, we can maintain this mood.
“I always think when you go through, you deserve it. We try to play good, and we’ll see what happens.”
Recall that ahead the Champions League game, Guardiola had claimed that his current squad is the worse until they win a trophy.