Guardiola confident in Manchester City’s stability ahead of Champions League semi-final
Manchester City’s head coach, Pep Guardiola, has warned his team not to seek revenge against Real Madrid during their upcoming Champions League semi-final clash. Guardiola believes that targeting revenge would be a mistake and that City should focus on capitalizing on the opportunity rather than trying to make the reigning champions pay for eliminating them at the same stage last season. He was at odds with the defensive midfielder, Rodri, who said that the team was hungry for revenge against the record 14-time winners.
Guardiola stated that his team had done everything possible to reach the final last season but it was not enough. He added that sometimes it takes only five minutes to lose a game in football. Madrid has triumphed five times in the last nine seasons, while City has never lifted the trophy.
Guardiola’s side beat Madrid 4-3 in the first leg last season, and they were leading by a goal in the return until two late strikes by Rodrygo Goes forced extra time. In the additional period, Karim Benzema scored a penalty to send Madrid through to the Paris final, where they beat Liverpool.
The coach said that City had played well over both ties last season, despite their eventual elimination. He congratulated Real Madrid and stated that his team had learned from the past, but he did not like to talk about it. He added that it was another year, another goal, with the hunger of having revenge.
Guardiola praised his club’s stability, in contrast to other sides who triumph but then fall away in subsequent years. City has reached at least the last eight in each of the past six seasons, and Guardiola believes that they will one day triumph in Europe, after disappointment in the 2021 final, where they were beaten by Chelsea.
He emphasized that being stable is the most important thing as a club, and Madrid is an example of that. Despite his historic rivalry with Los Blancos, Guardiola acknowledged their achievements in Europe. He added that to win this competition, one has to beat the best team, and Madrid is the best team in this competition in the last decade.
Guardiola’s squad attended a team training session on May 8, 2023, at the Manchester City training ground in Manchester, north-west England, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League semi-final first-leg football match against Real Madrid. The team includes Manchester City’s German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, Manchester City’s Norwegian striker Erling Haaland, Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, and Manchester City’s English midfielder Jack Grealish.