Ortega Moreno: City will fight to retain our Champions League crown | OneFootball

Icon: Manchester City F.C.

Manchester City F.C.

·29 November 2023

Ortega Moreno: City will fight to retain our Champions League crown

Article image:Ortega Moreno: City will fight to retain our Champions League crown

Stefan Ortega Moreno says City are ‘hungry’ to retain our Champions League crown as we this week secured progress through to the knockout stages as group winners.

Ortega Moreno was in goal as Pep Guardiola’s defending champions defeated RB Leipzig 3-2 in an enthralling contest, which saw City come back from two goals behind to pick up the three points at the Etihad.


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That result ensured we emerged from Group G in top spot, ahead of Leipzig, meaning we head into the Round of 16 as the seeded team.

Our 31-year-old goalkeeper insists there’s a firm focus in the dressing room to go all the way again this time around after our success in Istanbul in the 2022/23 edition of the competition.

“The spirit is still the same and we are still hungry,” said the German stopper.

“We know now what is possible with this team and club. That’s why everyone is still hungry.

“When you are the winner of the competition, the season after everyone tries to punish you and beat you.

“We still have the crown, but we will fight for the next one.”

Leipzig certainly tried to defeat City on Tuesday, going in at half-time 2-0 up following a brace from Lois Openda.

Ortega Moreno was happy with the way the Blues kept focus despite the interval setback and they were rewarded with a cracking comeback after the break.

“We struggled in the first half,” added Ortega Moreno.

“Leipzig are a strong team, but we also had a lot of chances – it was clear after the first half that we had to play different and have more focus in the last situations.

“Most importantly it was how we reacted, and, in the end, we showed who we are and the reaction was brilliant.

“We were patient and didn’t lose the focus.

“I was disappointed to concede with the two first shots on target, but we showed a strong mentality after the first half and fully deserved the win in the end.”

Article image:Ortega Moreno: City will fight to retain our Champions League crown

The comeback was sparked by Erling Haaland who produced a fine finish to get us back into the game on 54 minutes before Phil Foden brought us level with a coolly taken effort on 70 minutes.

Julian Alvarez ensured the maximum haul, finishing off an 18-pass move with the clock ticking down to full-time.

Ortega Moreno had special praise for the young Argentine ace, who he says merges quality on the pitch with likeability off it.

“He’s a nice guy – he was a bit shy in the beginning but now he’s fully adapted, he’s an incredible player and a really nice person,” the goalkeeper added.

“He is still young so he can improve and improve every day. Like everyone in this team – the connection we have is incredible.

“There are so many nationalities – you enjoy every day when you go to training, it is a lot of fun.”

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