Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola met with the gathered media in Friday's pre-match press conference as normal business resumed in the Premier League. Unsurprisingly, despite the focus of the get together being on the game against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, the topic of the Champions League semi-finals arose.
No City, no Barça...Bayern then
Tuesday night saw his City side fight hard to get back into the tie but the three-goal lead that Liverpool brought to the Etihad always looked an uphill struggle, even more so when The Reds scored, as most expected they would. With his local side from Catalonia, FC Barcelona, also saying adios to the competition on the same night (in what was an incredibe turnaround) Guardiola's two favoured sides had gone.
His answer to who he'd be supporting therefore may not have been as obvious as before...but then it most certainly was.
"Neither we [Manchester City] nor Barcelona are in the semi-finals, so I will support Bayern, I hope they have the luck they deserve," Guardiola said about the club he managed before arriving in the Premier League.
Some might say, we will find a brighter day.— Manchester City (@ManCity) 10 April 2018
Thank you for your amazing support tonight 💙 pic.twitter.com/5Xe3zf9KQC
Barça, City, Juve: league leaders missing semi
In addition to this, he was also keen to make the case that the Bundesliga side were the only one of the remaining sides leading their domestic leagues. He highlighted that the difference in points between his Man City and Liverpool was 17, and that there were 15 points between LaLiga champions-elect Barça and Real Madrid. Even wider was the gap (21) between Juventus and Roma in Serie A, he said, adding "in spite of all that, none are in the semifinals".
The Spanish coach that has lit up the Premier League with City's finesse and energy blowing most rivals away - a team who many still believe to be the best in Europe - congratulated Liverpool for their 5-1 aggregate victory but praised the reaction of his own players to the disappointing first leg.
"This season we have done better in the Champions League than last season."