Deportes

Pep Guardiola makes promise to Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri by SMS - report

Pep Guardiola makes promise to Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri by SMS - report

Marlos, the orchestrator of so much of Shakhtar's attacking thrusts, drove at the heart of a back-peddling City defence before feeding Bernard to his left.

Inspired by Brazilians Bernard and Ismaily, Shakhtar Donetsk qualified for the Champions League last 16 with a 2-1 victory over a much-changed and subdued Manchester City on Wednesday.

Shakhtar Donetsk coach Paulo Fonseca is preparing for one of his toughest challenges as Manchester City visit in the Champions League.

Manchester United have also been in good form in recent weeks, with the Red Devils having beaten Watford 4-2 at Vicarage Road on Tuesday night.

Guardiola handed starts to England youngsters Tosin Adarabioyo and Phil Foden and was impressed with how his side got on in Shaktar's hostile environment.

And, speaking at a pre-match media conference in Ukraine, Toure - who also worked with Guardiola at Barcelona - said: "Our team is practising the best football in Europe but we want to play against the best teams to see where we are".

Perhaps, his critics should have taken the time to check his CV, which includes a league title with Monaco and a Champions League semi-final with Lyon. We are in a good moment.

Of course, the Frenchman's suspension is a short problem, but there's another long-term issue that will continue to annoy Mourinho again next weekend.

Funnily enough Leicester are now above The Saints in the table, and the issues with finishing that cost Puel during his time there still remain.

"We spoke a lot about defending set pieces but they are taller", Guardiola added. The good news for Shakhtar is that they can replace Taison with Viktor Kovalenko, a really talented young midfielder who just can't get into the team because Taison, Bernard and Marlos are so good.

However, according to Sky Italia the Catalan has sent an SMS message to Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri, promising him that City will give their 'maximum effort' to beat Shakhtar and make it six wins out of six in Group F.

"We came here to win, we couldn't but we were trying until the end to do so".

If Napoli's game against Inter was just as important as their game with City, how important is City's dead rubber against Shakhtar, with United coming up on Sunday?

"You want the truth or what do you want?"

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, revealed after his sides 3-1 victory over Newcastle on Saturday that Eden Hazard is enjoying the extra freedom that his new central role allows him.