Laurent Blanc has warned Manchester City that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is determined to shoot them down at the Etihad Stadium.
The prolific Ibrahimovic is the chief obstacle standing in City’s way as they bid to reach the Champions League semi-finals at the expense of Paris Saint-Germain.
Ibrahimovic had a mixed night in the first leg of their quarter-final in France last week, scoring and hitting the bar but also missing a penalty and spurning another good chance in the 2-2 draw.
The 34-year-old has had a fine season, netting 30 goals in Ligue 1 for the runaway champions. He is out of contract at the end of the campaign and has been linked with a move to England, most recently with Manchester United.
Blanc said: “We’re always a bit surprised when Zlatan misses a chance but when you’re a top goalscorer like him, you can miss a couple. Unfortunately for us he missed them in that game. He still scored though and he’s someone who is extremely demanding of himself.
“He wants to show something else tomorrow, he wants to be more clinical. If we create as many chances as the first leg, I think his conversion rate will be a lot higher.”
PSG showed plenty of attacking impetus at the Parc des Princes as they recovered from a goal down and, when Ibrahimovic hit the woodwork, it seemed they would win convincingly. But both sides were prone to errors and Fernandinho pounced on one from PSG to equalise and keep the tie alive.
Blanc, who could have midfielder Marco Verratti back after almost eight weeks out with a groin injury, with the Italian training last night knows improvements are needed.
He said: “We’ve analysed the first game and looked at the errors we made. There was too wide a gap between players, we were not compact enough and opened too much space for City.
“When you think of the palyers they’ve got, particularly going forward, they can create problems for a lot of teams, not just us.
“We need to perform at the highest possible level, a higher level than the first game. We know how difficult it will be.”
PSG’s task may have been made marginally easier with the news City captain Vincent Kompany has lost his battle to be fit.
The influential Belgium defender had been hoping to feature tonight after a month on the sidelines with the latest in a long line of calf-related problems. But despite the 30-year-old being involved in training, Kompany’s involvement has been deemed too much of a risk by manager Manuel Pellegrini.
Pellegrini said: “Vincent Kompany is not 100 per cent.”
Asked if he could still play, Pellegrini said: “No, it is not possible.”
City will have Nicolas Otamendi in the centre of defence despite a minor scare over a twisted ankle in the win over West Brom and Pellegrini has faith in his back line.
Pellegrini said: “I am absolutely confident because with this defence we played a lot of games here in the Premier League and in the Champions League and if we are in this stage it is because we have good defenders. We have had a lot of injuries but I trust 100 per cent in the players who can play.”
Manchester City fans have vented their anger at Uefa before every game in the Champions League by jeering the music which is played ahead of every game.
It is their response to what they felt was an unjust financial fair play penalty, and also for the way in which Uefa treated fans who had already booked trips to Moscow before they closed CSKA’s stadium for racist incidents.
Coach Manuel Pellegrini believes the fans may keep up their booing at City’s Champions League second leg against PSG.
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PSG coach Laurent Blanc says Manchester City scored from their only two chances in the game to earn a 2-2 draw against his side.
The result means Manuel Pellegrini’s team have two crucial away goals going in to their Champions League quarter-final second leg.
Blanc said: “I think we conceded goals from the only two chances they had but we could have scored three or four ourselves.”
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