Guardiola Says City Used ‘Painful’ Knockout Last Season To Fuel Real Madrid Defeat

Guardiola Says City Used ‘Painful’ Knockout Last Season To Fuel Real Madrid Defeat
Partido de vuelta de las semifinales de la Liga de Campeones entre el Manchester City y el Real Madrid. En la imagen, Guardiola y Ancelotti. Second leg of the Champions League semifinal between Manchester City and Real Madrid. In this picture, Guardiola and Ancelotti. - Photo by Icon sport

Pep Guardiola believes that the negative emotions associated with last year’s loss to Real Madrid have dissipated now that Manchester City have dethroned the European champions.

The Catalan witnessed his side defeat the Spanish power house 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium and 5-1 on aggregate.

The former Barcelona manager now has the opportunity to win a third Champions League title, his first since 2011.

Los Blancos staged a dramatic late comeback, scoring twice in the final minutes to force extra time and deny Man City a final appearance in the previous campaign last season.

Then, Karim Benzema scored the game-winning goal to eliminate City, who had appeared destined to advance to the European final only minutes before that comeback.

Guardiola: ‘Now We’re Showing How Special We Are’

Guardiola believes that the negative emotions from last season have been released a year later, after the players’ personalities were questioned following their repeated failures in Europe.

“At home we feel very comfortable with our people,” Guardiola told BT Sport.

“I had a feeling we had one year of pain in our stomach with what happened last season, but today everything went out,” the manager explained, “It was so painful last season, when people said we lacked character, now we’re showing how special they are.”

17th May 2023; Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England; Champions League Football, Semi Final Second Leg, Manchester City versus Real Madrid; Julian Alvarez of Manchester City celebrates after beating Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to score his side's fourth goal in added time - Photo by Icon sport

“Today from minute one, we had the feeling that we were ready, so we were calm mentally,” Guardiola said, ” I didn’t feel nervous or tension, I had the feeling we were ready to produce a good performance.”

 “There is a lot of work and when you reach the final of the Champions League you have to celebrate it. Unfortunately we do not have time because on Sunday we have the chance to win the Premier League.”

City On Track For Historic Treble

City’s Champions League victory could wind up capping a historic treble that includes the Premier League and FA Cup titles. The league appears to have been clinched, aided by Arsenal’s demise, which would further demonstrate their recent dominance.

Manchester United, the only English team to have won the legendary treble, will be their opponent in the FA Cup final a week prior to the European Cup final.

The Red Devils have already defeated City this season and are searching for their second trophy under Erik ten Hag.

Two years ago, Chelsea defeated Manchester City in the finals of the Champions League in Porto with a somewhat surprising victory. Inter Milan now stands in the way of the side owned by Sheikh Mansour.

Though Inter have a strong history in European competition and boast some top quality players, they will be overwhelming underdogs versus the might of Man City.

A 3-0 aggregate victory saw Inzaghi’s side past city rivals AC Milan but the third place Serie A outfit will face a totally different challenge in Man City.

If the Italian side can pull off a victory, it would be a David versus Goliath moment in footballing terms and mark one of the biggest upsets in the competition’s final in recent years.

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