Despite Manchester City winning 4-3, Pep Guardiola has admitted that his side knows that they need to improve and raise their levels in order to beat Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu. The Cityzens raced to a 2-0 lead in the first half but an impressive fight-back from Real saw the game end 4-3.
With Real Madrid and Manchester City picked to face each other in the Champions League semi-final, many expected a sensational game and that’s exactly what the two produced. However, City nearly played spoilsports as they raced to a 2-0 lead and then spurned several chances to put things to bed and that handed Real Madrid a chance. It saw the Los Blancos net three with Karim Benzema turning the game around via another brace either side of Vinicius Junior’s individual goal.
However, City also scored twice in the second half to walk away with a narrow 4-3 lead ahead of the second-leg but it could have been a far larger lead with Pep Guardiola reiterating that as well. The City boss admitted that while his side played exceptional on the night, they know they need to raise their levels in the second leg if they want to reach the final. The Spaniard also added that they gave Real a chance in the second half to produce a comeback but now their focus is on the second leg.
“We miss them but we create them. We were there all the time. No complaints about the result, the performance, anything. I am so proud of the way we perform in front of the world. We did everything to win and with courage – with the ball, without the ball. Football is football, the result is the result, but how we perform is exceptional. Nobody can say the performance was not good,” Guardiola said, reported the Guardian.
“We know we have to maybe raise the level to reach the final but this competition demands that. At the end maybe the chances we create we have to convert. I want to convince my players that we won the game and heads up. We were two up but even two or three or four you have to perform. They have the ability to score three goals in 10 minutes. It is a good test for ourselves.
“We played a fantastic game against an incredible team. The moments where they rise and come back into the game in the first half I think we gave them as our build-up was so nervous. Normally we are so safe and so good. Also they press really good and strong. All around the world and for Manchester City, we are so proud. But it is about reaching the final and sometimes football happens. We are going to Madrid to try to win the game,” he added.