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Monday 5 December 2016

Man City star Wilfried Bony: Our confidence won't be dented by Juventus defeat

Wilfried Bony was unable to join Manchester City on their pre-season tour due to illness
Wilfried Bony was unable to join Manchester City on their pre-season tour due to illness

Wilfried Bony claims Manchester City's confidence will not be dented by their Champions League reversal against Juventus.

City surrendered a lead to lose their their Group D opener to the Italian giants 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

The result was yet another reminder of the team's European failings and was a huge disappointment given the respective form of the two sides. City were buoyant after winning their opening five games of the Barclays Premier League season without conceding while Juve were in need of a lift after three without victory in Serie A.

But Bony said: "It was difficult. We know Juventus are a big team.

"We just have to work for the next game. We know it is not going to be easy but we will fight for that.

"I would say it is difficult, for sure. It is a poor result. We lost but this doesn't mean we lost confidence. We will continue to work and try to take it game by game."

City paid the price for wasting a series of chances, although they found veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in superb form.

Buffon denied Raheem Sterling in the second minute of the game and was outstanding after the break.

City did get ahead when Giorgio Chiellini turned into his own net under pressure from Vincent Kompany just before the hour.

But Buffon then produced a brilliant double save to keep out Sterling and David Silva in quick succession and Bony also extended the 37-year-old keeper.

Bony, starting in place of the injured Sergio Aguero, had also fluffed two good chances in the first half while Fernandinho twice went close with powerful drives.

City were caught out when Mario Mandzukic turned in a pinpoint Paul Pogba cross to level after 70 minutes and Alvaro Morata curled in a great winner nine minutes from time.

Bony said: "It was difficult because they closed completely their goal and they were complete in defence and trying to play counter-attack.

"They played completely close to their goal so it was difficult to find any space. But we created chances and we didn't score, and at the end they took their chances. We were not lucky enough to score the goals and we paid the price."

City will hope to get their campaign up and running as they take on Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany in their next game on September 30.

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