'No Regrets': Guardiola Lauds Man City Players After Dramatic Champions League Defeat By Real Madrid

(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) Manchester City's manager, Pep Guardiola, expressed no regrets after Real Madrid dashed their hopes of a double treble on Wednesday night. Despite revealing that both Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland requested substitutions, Guardiola showered praise on his players following the agonizing penalty shootout loss to the 14-time winners.

Guardiola conceded that City lacked ruthlessness in the Champions League second-leg quarter-final and emphasized the need to lift his squad ahead of Saturday's FA Cup semi-final clash against Chelsea.

"I have no regrets over what we've done.
In other sports we would've won with our statistics but this is the marvellous thing about football," the Man City boss said in his post-match interview.

"Johan Cruyff said luck doesn't exist and I agree with him. We couldn't score tonight. It hurts but what a fantastic way to lose. We feel bad tonight and we'll have to lift ourselves.
What can I say to these players? We needed to show that we were ourselves and that what we did. It's not been enough, OK," Guardiola added.

Jude Bellingham, who maintained composure during the shootout following Luka Modric's miss, confessed that Real Madrid felt a sense of relief in progressing, given the relentless pressure exerted by the hosts.

"It's so difficult.
They are continuously probing with the ball and move you around. Most teams would fall apart when City get on top of you but we stood up really well," the Real Madrid star said.

"Our biggest strength is he [Carlo Ancelotti] finds a way to let a lot of boys play with freedom. We're so off the cuff. As a man he fills you with calmness and confidence. I caught him yawning and he said to go out and excite him.
It's relief. You have to see it as a responsibility not a pressure if you want to play for a team like Real Madrid. It came down to mentality," Bellingham added.

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti agreed with Bellingham about the Los Blancos' fortitude, adding, "Guardiola congratulated me and wished me luck. He behaved like a gentleman as always. How do I explain it? This is Madrid. Games like this go with the badge. Madrid never dies."


AsiaNet News

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