Coach Pep Guardiola was disappointed after Manchester City shock defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League semifinal second leg at Santiago Bernabeau, Thursday (5/5/2022) . But the Spanish coach accepted the defeat that his team had to accept.
We didn’t play our best but that’s normal because it’s a semi-final where the players feel the pressure and want to do it.
One leg of The Sky Blues had stepped into the Champions League final after Riyad Mahrez gave the advantage.
But two late goals from Rodrygo sent the game into extra time. Until finally Karim Benzema scored the winning goal to ensure a place for Real Madrid in the final.
We were close. We were close, but in the end we couldn’t reach it, Guardiola said after the game.
Guardiola said, his team did not play well in the first half until finally able to take the lead first. But his team failed to cope with the constant pressure given by Los Blancos in the final 15 minutes of the match. As a result, their goal conceded twice in 15 minutes remaining.
Simple. In the first half we didn’t have a game, we weren’t good enough. But we didn’t suffer much. After we scored, we were better.
They put a lot of players in the box, with Militao, Rodrygo, Vinicius, Benzema and they crossed and scored two goals.
After this, Guardiola asked his team to shift focus to the Premier League. Manchester City is currently competing with Liverpool in the race for the title.
Failed Again in the Champions League, Pep Cursed by African Shamans?
After the match, many attributed Guardiola’s failure to his past bad treatment of a famous African star, Yaya Toure.
Toure was a ManCity star in 2010-2018. In 2018, the Ivory Coast player moved after being no longer trusted as a starter by Guardiola. Toure finally retired in 2020.
And in 2018, Yaya’s agent Seluk stressed that Guardiola’s decision not to count on Toure as a starter in the midfielder’s final season at ManCity would not be welcomed by some African shamans.
In the Premier League, Man City is currently at the top of the standings with 83 points in the remaining four games, only one point ahead of Liverpool. Losing or drawing in the last four matches will be disastrous for Man City.
Guardiola: City need time to understand Madrid’s defeat
Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola said his players will need time to digest what happened in the closing minutes against Real Madrid after their dramatic Champions League exit . City led 1-0 in the semifinal second leg at Santiago Bernabeu until the 90th minute
But fate said otherwise. Madrid scored two goals in injury time through Rodrygo Goes. The match must also be continued into extra time because the aggregate is as strong as 5-5. City are still shaken not ready and conceded again. This time from the penalty spot through the execution of Karim Benzema. Madrid led 3-1 and lasted until the end. Tickets for the match against Liverpool at the Stade de France, later this month in hand.
Guardiola acknowledged the incredible comeback of Los Blancos. Madrid have hit the City dressing room hard.
They are sad. They have almost reached the final of the Champions League. We need time to digest that and come back for the last four games (in the Premier League), Guardiola was quoted as saying by ESPN .
In the first half we didn’t have rhythm. After we scored, we were better, we found our tempo, the players were comfortable, he said.
In the last 10 minutes City hoped to score an extra goal, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. Yet they have a chance. One of them through Jack Grealish who was pushed over by the feet of Thibaut Courtois. Then Madrid put a lot of players in the City defense with Eder Militao, Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr., Marcos Asensio. Madrid finally scored two goals.
We didn’t suffer much but we didn’t play our best. But normally in the semifinals, the players feel the pressure. We are close (to the final) but football is unpredictable.
City must quickly rise because in tight competition with Liverpool chasing the English Premier League title this season. The Citizens will welcome Newcastle United’s visit to the Etihad Stadium this weekend.