90min

Pep Guardiola pleads with Man City fans to attend games

Toby Cudworth
Pep Guardiola wants more supporters watching his side inside the Etihad
Pep Guardiola wants more supporters watching his side inside the Etihad / Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has urged more supporters to attend games in person following the 6-3 hammering of RB Leipzig in the Champions League.

It was an entertaining night of football at the Etihad Stadium as City followed up recent 5-0 wins over Norwich and Arsenal with another feast of goals against the rising stars of the Bundesliga.

But the efforts scored by Nathan Ake, Nordi Mukiele (own goal), Riyad Mahrez, Jack Grealish, Joao Cancelo and Gabriel Jesus were seen by just 38,062 spectators, with City again failing to attract a sizeable crowd for a Champions League fixture.

After the game, Guardiola jovially eluded to the empty seats around the stadium - which equate to around 25% of the stadium's capacity - by inviting more supporters to attend in person, starting with this weekend's game against Southampton.

"I would say the last three games we played here we scored 16 goals," Guardiola told BT Sport. "So I would like to come more people next game on Saturday, we need the people next Saturday. Please.

"We will be tired. I know the team from Ralph [Hasenhuttl, Southampton manager] is quite similar to the way they play. They are so, so dangerous with good quality and it's a really important game for us.

"So I invite to all our people to come next Saturday, 3pm, to watch the game."

City's difficulties in attracting fans to attend the Etihad on European nights has long been ridiculed by supporters of rival clubs, though there were also a few empty seats dotted around Stamford Bridge during Chelsea's narrow win over Zenit on Tuesday.

While attendance, or lack of, may be a slight issue off the field, City appear to have few problems on it.

Jack Grealish
Grealish impressed on his first Champions League start / James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

The commanding win over Leipzig was City's fourth win in a row and represents a fantastic response to the opening day defeat to Tottenham; one that saw Guardiola's side put in a laboured performance just a week after losing the Community Shield to Leicester.

Kevin De Bruyne played well on his return from injury but the spotlight also fell on teammate Grealish - who excelled in his first Champions League outing following his £100m British record move from Aston Villa.

Speaking on his display after the game, Grealish told BT Sport: "I loved it. I've been waiting a while. The past few weeks, I couldn't wait for this game. It's a great night.

"It was one of those games. It had absoutely everything. In the end we're delighted to get the win against a good team full of energy and young players.

"I'm delighted to come away with the three points - and the goal and assist. The ball came to me and when I'm in that position, running into the area I'd back myself one on one against anyone to have a go and it paid off. I had a few in the first half that were blocked."

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