Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Now Milner Is Ready for Barcelona!

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Now Milner Is Ready for Barcelona!

Article excerpt

ROMAN hero James Milner feels the Blues can now go a long way in the Champions League - even though he fully expects to face Barcelona in the next round! The midfielder was one of the leading lights of a marvellous City team performance in the Stadio Olimpico, as they picked up the victory they needed to be sure of qualifying for the last 16.

Many critics had written City off, due to their poor showing in the first four group games, and due to the fact that they were missing star names Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany, while David Silva was only fit enough for a place on the bench.

But, as they have done in recent Premier League games, some of the more unsung heroes stepped up to the plate to record a famous victory on a crisp, cold night in Italy.

With players now returning from injury, and hopefully Aguero back in time for the last 16 in February, there is a growing belief that City can kick on from here.

"We will take it step by step but I definitely think the quality is there to go far in this competition," said Milner.

"We don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but the more seasons we play in the Champions League, and the more games we play in it, the experience helps and we get better as a team.

"The pressure was there because we had to win the last couple of games, and we had a couple of injuries, but that shows the quality in the squad, as we managed to get the result we needed.

"This team responds when we need to win games - we did it last year in the Premier League and now we have done it again in the Champions League, by winning these two.

"We had a bit of help from the other game, but to beat Bayern Munich and Roma to qualify, and do it with a number of injuries, shows the amount of quality there is right through the squad.

The Blues have a 50-50 chance of avoiding one of the crack Spanish trio Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona, with Monaco, Borussia Dortmund and Porto the other possible opponents - they have to face a group winner and cannot be drawn against Chelsea or Bayern. …

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