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All eyes will be on Pep Guardiola if Man City do not turn it around against Tottenham

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Tonight is the night when Pep Guardiola learns if his big gamble paid off.

For one night only, the Man City manager compromised the footballing principles he holds so dear.

Pragmatism was the name of the game in last week’s Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium - when a 1-0 defeat left Guardiola facing uncomfortable questions about his strategy and in danger of crashing out of the competition he cherishes more than any other tonight.

I have to live with that.” Yet Guardiola knows the same criticisms will be levelled against him if City fail to overturn a one-goal deficit against Spurs, which would see him go out at the quarter-final stage for a second successive season.

The worrying trend is that City are making a habit of falling short against teams they are expected to beat.

Ahead of Spurs’ visit to the Etihad, the Catalan once again found himself defending his record at Bayern Munich, where he won seven trophies in three years, but failed to reach a Champions League final.

“I know at Bayern Munich, like a big club, after three seasons winning absolutely everything apart from the Champions League, was a big failure, but what can I say?” he said with a healthy dose of irony.
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