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Liverpool and Real Madrid may be out but Champions League will not get any easier, warns Silva

22:30 BST 12/08/2020
Bernardo Silva Manchester City 2019
Man City face Lyon in European quarter-finals but Portuguese midfielder says loss of big guns does not make competition simpler to win

Manchester City should forget about the teams that have been knocked out of the Champions League because every team left is capable of lifting the trophy, according to Bernardo Silva.

Holders Liverpool exited in the last-16 back in March while City beat record 13-time winners Real Madrid last week, meaning there will be a new name on the trophy for the first time since 2015.

City are aiming to lift the trophy for the first time in the club’s history and are among many people's favourites but Silva insists they cannot take any team left lightly.

“Anything can happen. Juventus were knocked out by Lyon. We have seen a lot of surprises in the competition over the last years,” he said.

“We lost against Tottenham last year in the quarter-finals. It’s very difficult to predict the games and the results in the competition.

“The fact that Liverpool are out, Real Madrid are out, it’s not going to make our path any easier. That would be a wrong thought.

“We need to go game-by-game, be very focused, knowing that every game is going to be very tough.

“All the teams in Lisbon are here because they deserve it. We need to be at our best level to win games and try to reach the final.”

Many expected Juventus to be City’s opponents in Saturday’s quarter-final clash but Lyon snatched a victory on away’s goal rule to stun the Italian champions.

City faced the French side, who finished seventh in Ligue 1, in the group stages last season and lost at the Etihad Stadium and then could only draw away.

“I know Lyon very well having played for three years in Ligue 1 where I played many times against them,” Silva added. “Also here at Manchester City we faced them last season and it wasn’t easy. We didn’t manage to beat them in either of the two games.

“That shows how difficult a team they are. Not only Lyon, but all the French teams are very physical, very strong and in just one game, it’s unpredictable.

“They knocked Juventus out of the competition and it’s not going to be an easy task for us. It’s going to be a completely different game than Real Madrid, because they both play different ways and with a different style of players.”

The end-of-season mini-tournament has given Silva the chance for a surprise return to his home city after the Covid-19 outbreak forced an extension of the season and a switch from Istanbul for the final.

Silva was back in Lisbon for his birthday on Monday, celebrating with his team-mates and telling them that the Champions League would be the perfect gift.

“For me, it's amazing to be in my city, returning back for such an important competition. I'm very happy and looking forward to the game to arrive,” he added.

“The Champions League is the only competition we still haven't won at this club. Manchester City has never won this competition, most of our players haven't won it yet, including me.

“Of course, winning this competition has always been a target for the players and the club. It will be very special to win it.

“For me, even more so because it's my city and it's an extra motivation to fight for the trophy here. It would definitely be special to win the Champions League in Lisbon.

“We play every competition to win, we try to give our best in every competition. This one is the only one we haven't won at City, there is an extra motivation to give our best and try to go as far as possible.

“It's a goal for the club, the fans, the staff, everyone. If we could do it this year, it would be a proud moment and we would include our names in the history of the club.”