Pep Guardiola does not feel his Manchester City side are ready to win the Champions League – as they are not clinical enough in front of goal.
City, who have won the Premier League for the past two seasons, are the highest scorers in the league with 29 goals in just nine matches, yet Guardiola is still not happy.
First half strikes from Gabriel Jesus and David Silva earned City a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, as they bounced back from losing to Wolves prior to the international break.
They remain six points behind league leaders Liverpool, however.
Guardiola’s team face Atalanta in Group C of the Champions League on Tuesday and the Spaniard believes too many missed opportunities means they will have to put their European ambitions on hold.
“We miss a lot of chances in the final third and we have to do that to be clinical,” said Guardiola. “When the people say about the Champions League being the target, we are still not ready.
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“We create a lot and we don’t concede, but we can still improve. We are a team in the last two seasons who score a lot and create a lot. I don’t have doubt about that, but still we have to keep going and work on that.”
Guardiola referenced the save Ederson made from Christian Benteke in the second half, which ensured City remained in control at Selhurst Park.
Had the Palace substitute netted in the 76th minute, it would have set up a dramatic finale in south London.
Yet City remained on top and should have scored a couple more late on with Kevin De Bruyne hitting the post and Raheem Sterling firing wide from close range.
Guardiola reserved special praise for Jesus, the Brazil forward, who netted his 50th goal for the club since moving to the Etihad in January 2017.
“He will have a long career and with his mentality always he will have success,” the City boss added. “He is hungry, he will become an important striker around the world and we are lucky to have him.
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“Gabriel was always good from the beginning. Unfortunately he had the two tough injuries. Last season it was tough for him, after the World Cup it was not easy, but he is strong.
“He is a number nine for Brazil. The club brought an incredible, young player for an incredible price. One of the best signings.
“To compete with Sergio (Aguero) is maybe the most difficult thing. Sergio is a legend, an outrageous player – amazing, but Gabriel is so calm.
“He is a competitor, he accepts the decision and every training session he fights like an animal, but he is so young and can improve.”