Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, has spoken out following his team’s 1-1 Champions League match with Real Madrid on Tuesday night.
The visitors dug deep to keep the tie alive ahead of the second leg next week at the Etihad Stadium. Vinicius Jr put Los Blancos ahead, and Kevin De Bruyne scored to give City a shot at the final next month.
City were able to get a point against Real Madrid, but Erling Haaland drew a blank, leaving the Norwegian international without a goal to add to his season total of 51.
Guardiola, on the other hand, has stated that he was pleased with the youngster’s performance and was unconcerned with his quiet evening, despite his team’s inability to win.
“The pockets and distances between the central defender and full-backs was occupied. It was not easy for Erling,” he said.
“He moved well and had his chances.”
On his side’s overall performance, Guardiola stated: ” When we were better, they score. When they were better, we score. Tight, tight game.
“The Bernabeu in the semi-final, sometimes we had good moments and sometimes it was difficult with the quality they have on the ball.
“[It is a] final next Wednesday at home with our people.
“We started really well in the second half as well and then after they got the game we could not take it.
“They play a lot of passes on the left and they are really good there, but then we score a fantastic goal through Kevin [De Bruyne] and had good moments and then at the end they had a few good chances.
“They are so demanding, with the experience and quality. We are travelling to Manchester and we will see what we can do better.
“When you play this kind of game, it is like a play-off. Hopefully we can learn and do even better.”
Rodri, a City midfielder, confessed he was pleased that his team avoided defeat against Real Madrid.
“It is very tough when you come here,” said the Spain international. “I think the lads were incredible. The effort was there. Sometimes it is difficult against this team because they have a lot of quality.
“In the first 25-30 minutes we controlled the game and then first chance they have, they score an incredible goal.
“But we kept in the game even though it was difficult to get in with the way they defend. Kevin [De Bruyne] found the goal and then in the last minutes we tried to keep the ball.
“Lots of concentration is needed because when you lose the ball, it is tough to regain it because they have a lot of quality and they have fast players up front.
“He [Kevin de Bruyne] is a massive player for us. Always he has been great, and he helped us in the moment we most needed it.
“We were suffering a bit because they were keeping the ball and with the goal, he gave us the confidence to keep pushing. It is a good result for us.