Pep Guardiola has alluded to ‘pressure’ playing a role in Manchester City’s dramatic Champions League semi-final exit at the hands of Real Madrid.
City were 4-3 up from the first leg and a second-half strike from Riyad Mahrez seemed to have booked their place in Paris to face Liverpool. However, a quite remarkable 60 seconds followed with Rodrygo netting twice to send the game to extra time.
In the additional period, Karim Benzema was tripped by Ruben Dias in the box and the Real frontman rolled the spot kick home to send his side to the final.
The defeat means City will end the season without a trophy if they do not win the Premier League, and at full-time Guardiola pinpointed where it went wrong for his side.
“We were close. But at the end we could not reach it,” he told BT Sport.
“It’s simple. In the first half we did a half game, we were not good enough but we did not suffer much. The second half we scored a goal and we were better. We found our tempo and found our game, the players were comfortable on the pitch.
“And then the last 10 minutes they attack and attack and attack, and you suffer. They put a lot of players in the box and put in a lot of crosses and they score two goals.
“We didn’t suffer much but we didn’t play our best. In semi-finals players feel the pressure and they feel they want to do it. We were close and football is unpredictable.”
Asked how much his City players were hurting after the result, Guardiola revealed: “Yes. We need time to process that and came back to our people at home.”
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