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Soccer

Pep Guardiola speaks after Real Madrid knock Manchester City out of the Champions League

The Man City coach spoke after Real Madrid produced a stunning comeback at the Bernabéu to send City out of the Champions League.

Update:
The Man City coach spoke after Real Madrid produced a stunning comeback at the Bernabéu to send City out.
Alex Livesey - DanehouseGetty

Asked what happened tonight at the Bernabéu, where Real Madrid produced two goals in the final minutes to take the tie to extra time, with Benzema then scoring a penalty to sent Real Madrid through, Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola said after the game ruefully that “they can do that to you”, despite the fact he thought City had been “controlling the game” at that point.

Guardiola also spoke about the psychological factor: “The Real Madrid players had been through this, we hadn’t experienced it. We were brilliant for the whole tie, but this depends on who scores most goals.”

Asked about how it felt to watch the comeback, Pep said: “We were under the cosh from Madrid. We knew what they’ve done in the past and they did it to us. When we were at our best, they turned the tie around.”

As to whether this was the toughest defeat of his career, he said, “I’ve had really tough defeats, at Barcelona with Chelsea... we were so close... in this tournament it’s normal. We played better in the second half. We found some good football. Unfortunately we didn’t achieve our goal.”

Guardiola has now stumbled at the Champions League semi-final stage six times in his coaching career.
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Guardiola has now stumbled at the Champions League semi-final stage six times in his coaching career.Alex Caparros - UEFAGetty

Guardiola did congratulate Ancelotti’s side on their win, and hoped for “great final against Liverpool”, although he admitted that the defeat was a “tough blow” and said City had “lacked football in the first half”. Asked if City had deserved more, he had no reply, “I don’t know,” was all he could muster.

The Spanish coach also preferred not to answer whether his project at City, now in its sixth season, was sorely lacking the Champions League: “I don’t know. I’m happy here. We’ve done some great things, we just lacked the final. We’re still here, we’ll see in the future,” he replied.

Ancelotti celebrates final against Liverpool

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti also spoke after the game, and was asked what had happened out on the pitch.

“It’s the grandeur of this club. The club won’t let you give up. It looked like everything was over, but the club gives you the strength to carry on. At that moment it all looked finished, but we found that last burst of energy to level the tie at the last moment and then we had the momentum with us.”

Ancelotti with the famous cigar
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Ancelotti with the famous cigar

He was also asked if he was going to smoke a cigar tonight, in reference to a photo doing the rounds of the Italian coach with a large cigar in the celebrations of Real Madid winning the Spanish league on Saturday. “I don’t smoke cigars! It was just a photo with my friends,” laughed Ancelotti.

Ancelotti celebrates post match
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Ancelotti celebrates post matchDeFodi ImagesGetty
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