Man City ‘need more effort’ to win Champions League, says Dimitar Berbatov

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Man City’s Premier League title defence has failed to materialise this term but they can still win the Champions League where Real Madrid lie in wait later this month

Manchester City need to “put more effort in” if they want to realise their Champions League dream having taken a step backwards this year.

That is the view of former Premier League marksman Dimitar Berbatov, who spent four years in the red half of Manchester.

City will surrender their title to Liverpool when they, inevitably, are crowned champions for the first time in 30 years.

Pep Guardiola’s side have been unable to match the levels they hit across the past two seasons in which they won six honours, but that does not include Europe’s top prize – the trophy their owners crave.

Guardiola’s presence presents them with the best opportunity they are going to get and Berbatov reckons their resources should go into ruling the continent, but it will require them finding top gear again.

He told Betfair: “Now that the title race is over for Man City, the Champions League will be their number one goal. All their effort will be towards trying to win their Holy Grail that they have been chasing for so long.

“But the way they are playing isn’t up to their own standards. They need to up their game if they want to go to win it, so it is going to be a tough road ahead.

“City have never won the Champions League and if Pep Guardiola pulls it off it will no doubt be their greatest achievement. They have already been Premier League champions and have won domestic cups but Europe has always got away from them.

“Whoever wins it, the coach and the players will be heroes, it’s a big test for City and for me they have dropped their game so they need to put more effort in.”

City will have to overcome European royalty in Real Madrid if they are to win the Champions League having drawn Los Blancos in the knockout stages.

Their best effort in Europe remains their semi-final appearance in 2016 under Manuel Pellegrini.

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