Champions League record ‘not satisfactory’ for Kompany

Captain Vincent Kompany believes the Manchester City squad is the best since he arrived. Picture: Getty
Captain Vincent Kompany believes the Manchester City squad is the best since he arrived. Picture: Getty
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Captain Vincent Kompany claims Manchester City are hungry for success and determined to deliver in the Champions League.

City have begun the season emphatically by winning their opening five Barclays Premier League matches without conceding a goal.

Now they want to carry that momentum into the Champions League, in which they have never previously progressed beyond the last 16.

They begin their latest challenge this evening with a testing visit from last season’s runners-up Juventus.

Kompany said: “There is nobody who left the Champions League satisfied last year.

“Okay, we came against the best team in the world in Barcelona, and I guess that made it a little bit easier to understand, but that is not what we want.

“We don’t want to go out to the strongest teams but to compete with them and at least beat them on a regular basis.

“Everything has been so bright and so good so far but, as people have been saying for the last three or four years, as long as we don’t perform and show our quality in the Champions League, as we have in the Premier League, there will always be something left behind that leaves us unsatisfied.

“It is a really important game for us. We have been looking forward to the start of the competition since the disappointing game in Barcelona. Tomorrow is a game everyone is going to be up for.”

In mitigation, City have been drawn in tough groups in each of their past four Champions League seasons and again they face a difficult task. As well as Juventus, Group D includes Bundesliga side Borussia Mönchengladbach and Europa League winners Sevilla.

City have spent close to £160 million over the summer in a bid to make a greater impact, with £103m going on just two players in Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.

The squad appears to have been reinvigorated and Kompany thinks the group could prove the best since he joined the club.

He said: “Early signs would say so but experience would teach you to be careful on those kind of statements. We will see.”

City’s optimism is tempered slightly by the loss of star striker Sergio Aguero. The Argentinian suffered a knee injury in a late challenge by Crystal Palace’s Scott Dann at the weekend and has not recovered.

On the positive side, David Silva and Sterling are both fit after missing the trip to Palace with ankle and hamstring problems respectively.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini said: “Sergio also is not fit for tomorrow. He has a big kick in his knee. We will wait on him but it is difficult for him to be fit. We will see this afternoon how long it will be. I hope that for the weekend he can be 100 per cent.”

City will return to Premier League action against West Ham on Saturday and domestic matters were also raised as Kompany and Pellegrini met media ahead of the Juve game.

Chelsea’s early-season struggles have commanded headlines over the weekend but Kompany would not get drawn into writing them off.

He said: “It is irrelevant what they are doing. The biggest mistake that could be made is to think it will be a league between Chelsea and City.

“That is not the case at all. Other teams will come back during the season. The best thing is to focus just on ourselves”.