Manchester City may have opened their Champions League group stage campaign with a convincing 4-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach, but there was something that irked Pep Guardiola.
No, it wasn’t the performance of any of his players but the lack of fans in the stadium.
The Etihad can often be seen with many empty blue seats during European matches - something that Guardiola desperately wants to fix.
Article continues below
After the match, the Spaniard alluded to the fact that a mere 30,270 in attendance on Wednesday night - 25,000 shy of the stadium’s 55,000 capacity.
But after their convincing victory over their German opponents and the prospect of Barcelona arriving at the Etihad on November 1, Guardiola hopes the City fans will turn up in their droves in future matches.
Article continues below
Guardiola on the lack of fans
“Our fans, they have to know we play for them,” said Guardiola.
“It is our job, we are here but without fans there is no reason why we are here. Our fans have to know we need them in the Champion League. In the Premier League everyone comes here but in the Champions League they don't.
“We need them to compete against the best teams in the world. With our supporters and their songs, we are stronger.
“I think these players have done from the beginning, our players deserve the stadium completely full. Hopefully against Barcelona and Celtic it will happen and if you are able to go to the next stage. I think today it is a good moment to enjoy our football with the fans.”
While Guardiola will be hoping his comments have a positive affect on City fans, rival fans have also reacted.
Manchester United supporters have also responded to Guardiola’s remarks, mocking their Manchester rivals for not being able to sell-out their stadium for a Champions League clash. Take a look at their reaction below:
Manchester United fans react
Of course, United supporters don’t have the opportunity to flock to Old Trafford to watch Champions League football this season, with them having to settle with the Europa League.
But it seems they are in no doubt that they would be able to sell out the Theatre of Dreams if they were in City’s position of playing in Europe’s elite competition.
However, after Guardiola’s encouragement and the imminent arrival of Barcelona, don’t be surprised to see the Etihad full of 55,000 City fans on European nights in the coming weeks.