Unhappy Guardiola challenges Manchester City fans

Annoyed by the poor attendance for City's tie with Gladbach on Wednesday night Pep called on fans to start attending Champions League games and to stop jeering the competition’s pre-game anthem
Manchester United v. Manchester City live online


Manchester City kicked off their Champions League campaign last night with a comfortable 4-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach but all was not well with coach Pep Guardiola after the game.

The Etihad was far from full

Just 30,000 fans turned up to the Etihad, a stadium with a capacity of over 53,000 on European nights, to watch City dismantle their German rivals in a match rescheduled due to torrential rain on Tuesday night. Guardiola wasn’t pleased.

A lot of empty seats were visible at the Etihad on Wednesday night

Our fans have to know that we play for them,” he said after the final whistle. “It's our job and we are here. But to play without our fans? Then there’d be no reason for us to be here. Our fans have to know that we need them in the Champions League.”

'We need the fans,' says Guardiola

“In the Premier League, everybody comes here, but in the Champions League the people don't come. We need them to compete against the best teams in the world. We can't make something good in the Champions League in the upcoming years without them. With our supporters and our songs, we are stronger. I think, honestly, our players deserve the stadium completely full. Hopefully against Barcelona and Celtic it will happen,” he added.

Guardiola says that City fans should forget the past

City fans should forget the past

Guardiola also had another message for City fans: to stop booing the Champions League anthem. City fans have jeered the anthem since 2014 when CSKA Moscow fans were allowed to watch a game against their side despite it being supposedly being played behind closed doors in punishment for racist incidents. Later that year, City were called out and sanctioned by UEFA for infringing Financial Fair Play regulations, a measure which many fans consider to have been excessive.

I was not here to see what happened, but they can forget it,” said Guardiola. “They must forget what happened in the past. We have to be proud to play in this competition. Not all the teams can play this competition.”