Andres Iniesta: Barcelona looking to control Manchester City clash.

Andres Iniesta says Barcelona plan to control the ball to make Manchester City suffer and ensure progression from Wednesday's Champions League round-of-16 second leg.

Barca go into the game with a 2-1 advantage from last month's first leg in Manchester, with an out-of-form City side knowing they must score at least twice at the Camp Nou to have any chance of progressing to the quarterfinals.

Iniesta said at the pre-match news conference that having that advantage would make it easier for Barca to go out and play their natural attacking game, but that did not mean they were taking anything for granted.

"We cannot commit the mistake of thinking that 1-2 is a guarantee, or wait and see what happens," Iniesta said. "We must go for the game, have the ball, look to win it, do what we have to do to make the next round.

"If you think about not going forward, maybe that generates more doubts. When you have the result in your favour, the risks are not the same as when you have to go out to win, so from the start we can go out to win.

"We must play a very complete game, having the ball a long time, so that they can suffer behind the ball. If we do not do that, then City can achieve what they want. We want to have that feeling of controlling what is happening in all moments."

Former Barca midfielder Yaya Toure missed the first leg through suspension but is expected to return to the City starting XI for Wednesday's game.

"Yaya makes them more dangerous," Iniesta said. "He is a very important player for them -- a very complete player, with his physical strength and very important quality on the ball. He makes City a stronger team with his presence, so we will try and minimise his influence on the game. If we do that, we have a big chance."

After the City match, Barcelona have a La Liga clash at home to Real Madrid, who currently trail Luis Enrique's men by one point in the table.

Asked if he would take two draws in the two games, Iniesta replied: "Obviously, you go out onto the pitch to win, even more so at home.

"Tomorrow we will see how the game goes, how it develops, but we know a draw or win will put us in the quarterfinals. I would take that now as we would be in the next round, but we always go out to win.

"There is no need to think as far as Sunday yet, but we will again look to win to build the gap on Real Madrid. That would leave us in a very good position."

Iniesta suggested progress in the Champions League was probably more important than beating Madrid in La Liga.

"Tomorrow is maybe more important for us," he said. "There is no better way of going into Sunday's game than by having won, by feeling we have played well, and are closer to the objective of the Champions League. When the player goes onto the pitch they live this moment, and tomorrow is very, very important for us. We can prepare for Sunday's game from Thursday, but first we have tomorrow's game."

Barcelona have been in excellent form in 2015 and have already qualified for May's Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao, leading to suggestions Luis Enrique could lead the side to a treble to match that won by Pep Guardiola in 2008-09.

Asked about their prospects of doing so, Iniesta said: "It is not the case that we meet up to talk about winning the treble.

"Everyone knows in their own mind how we are, how the team is playing, the possibilities we have. We know if we play well, and do our work, we will have a chance to fight for everything until the end. That does not guarantee anything, but we know we are in good place, preparing for tomorrow's game, and to keep on this path."

Iniesta warned that last season, under Gerardo Martino, Barca reached March in a similarly good position but, despite eliminating City at the same stage of the Champions League, they ended up winning nothing.

"Each year is always different -- it always has its different moments," he said. "Last year we were more or less in this situation, and the feelings were good too, as we were in all the competitions. We also had a good result at City. But at the moment you focus on the present, and the feelings are good.

"But we should not confuse feeling well with thinking tomorrow's game has no danger. Above all up front they are very dangerous, so we need 100 percent concentration to be in the next round."

Source: ESPN FC


Recent Posts

See All