Pep Guardiola: ‘Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Neymar are almost unplayable’

The Manchester City manager has tried keeping the ball from Messi, Neymar and Suárez, now he knows only the best will do if another distressing Champions League result is to be avoided

As Pep Guardiola took his seat for another round of questions about what it was like to face Barcelona again, whether this time it might be any different and if it was true Lionel Messi was superhuman, an event of a very different nature was taking place a few miles away at the club Manchester City always measure themselves against first.

It was certainly unfortunate timing on the part of Manchester United to call a simultaneous press conference announcing, with some very important-looking capital letters, their first Official Mattress and Pillow Partner. A king-sized bed from the range of Mlily, the latest addition to United’s list of sponsors, was lugged on stage. A succession of first-team players obediently went through their lines about how delighted they were with the five-year arrangement – “It’s very important for us, as players, to maintain high-quality sleep,” Luke Shaw observed – and back at City they could probably be forgiven for thinking an awful lot had changed since the great European occasions always seemed to be at Old Trafford.

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