Football

Pep plans to 'deactivate' Ibrahimovic

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Going for fifth consecutive semi-final (©GettyImages)
Going for fifth consecutive semi-final (©GettyImages).

When AC Milan and Barcelona meet tonight - for the third time in this year's Champions League competition - Pep Guardiola intends to dominate possession.

Speaking to the club's official website the Catalan coach said: "San Siro is one of the great stadiums in European football and AC Milan is one of the best teams in the world.

"In the quarter-finals of a competition like this, with an opponent like this one, you must be aware that we have to play two excellent games or you won't go through."

In the group stages, the favourites to lift the Cup, were held to a 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp before beating AC Milan at The San Siro 3-2.

The quarter-final promises to be a tough task as the Italians have not lost a home tie at this stage of the competition before, but Barca have won their last six away fixtures in a bid to retain their title.

The Catalan giants will be looking to make the semi-final for a fifth consecutive season and no doubt will be helped along the way by the competition's top scorer - Lionel Messi - who seems intent on breaking every last football record.

The Argentine has scored the most goals in the tournament so far with 12 as well as taking the most shots with 26. Another player that may be an important part of the tie is former Barca star Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

"I expect to see the best Milan," Guardiola continued. "They have great combative play, they're good in the air, and they dominate long passes, thanks to Ibrahimovic.

"When he receives the ball, the whole offensive mechanism of the team snaps into play. He's unbeatable in the air. We must try to deactivate him and AC Milan through ball possession."

Topics:
European News
Football
UEFA Champions League
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