Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola admits that Manchester City’s defeat to Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League is a tough one to take.
The Citizens were on course to secure their second consecutive champions league final after Riyad Mahrez has given the visitors the lead in the 72nd minutes but the Spanish Champions produced an astonishing comeback within a space of two minutes by Rodrygo to push the game to extra time.
Benzema put the icing on the cake in the 95th minute of the extra time after slotting home the penalty.
The result means Real Madrid will face Liverpool in Paris later this month a repeat of the 2018 Champions League finals where Real Madrid won 3-1.
What did Guardiola say?
Speaking after the match Pep Guardiola said: “I have had defeats in the Champions League, I had tough defeats at Barcelona when we could not reach the final.
“But it is tough for us, I cannot deny that. We were so close to the Champions League final
“We didn’t play well in the first half, we didn’t find our game. The second half was much better and after the goal, we had control. We found our game but unfortunately, we could not finish. The players gave everything.
“We were so close. Before the first goal, we had two chances, one so clear with Jack (Grealish), which could maybe solve it. And at that moment we did not have the feeling that we were in trouble because of the way they attacked.
“It happened, they scored a goal at the end. They have done it many times in their history, they put a lot of players in the box, like Militao and the strikers, and yeah, they found the goal.
“It has happened many times in their history,” said Guardiola, whose side must now regroup ahead of a crucial Premier League game against Newcastle this weekend.
“This will have a positive impact on the Real Madrid players but I don’t know about us really. We didn’t suffer much until they scored, but we didn’t play our best.”
Meanwhile, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti believes the history of Real Madrid kept them going.
Carlo Ancelotti, who made history by qualifying for his 5th Champions League final as a coach, believes the history of the 13th times Champions League winners kept them going after producing an astounding comeback against Paris Saint Germain, Chelsea, and Manchester City.
The Italian said: “The game was close to being finished but we managed to find the last energy we had.
“We played a good game against a strong rival. When we were able to equalize, we had a psychological advantage in extra time.
“I cannot say we are used to living this kind of life, but what happened tonight happened against Chelsea and also against Paris.
“If you have to say why it is the history of this club that helps us to keep going when it seems that we are gone.
“I am happy to be in the final, in Paris against another great team. It will be a fantastic football game.”