Pep Guardiola Insists That Man City Are Not Out For ‘Revenge’ In Real Madrid Semi-Final

Pep Guardiola Insists That Man City Are Not Out For ‘Revenge’ In Real Madrid Semi-Final
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola during a press conference at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid. Picture date: Monday May 8, 2023. - Photo by Icon sport

Pep Guardiola has insisted that Manchester City are not seeking revenge against Real Madrid ahead of Tuesday’s first leg of the Champions League semi-final at the Santiago Bernabeu.

At this juncture of the tournament last season, the English side were eliminated by Los Blancos 6-5 on aggregate after extra time after to a historic and dramatic comeback by the Spanish giants, who would eventually go on to win the tournament.

Guardiola’s side led 1-0 in the second leg and 5-3 on aggregate entering the 90th minute, but two goals from substitute Rodrygo restored parity for Real Madrid, and Karim Benzema scored the game-winning penalty in extra time to eliminate the Citizens.

Rodri: ‘Football Gives You The Option For Revenge’

Rodri, a midfielder for Manchester City, participated in that heartbreaking loss, and the Spaniard acknowledged at Monday’s press conference that he will be pursuing revenge against the Champions League champions.

“I think football gives you the option for revenge,” the former Athletico Madrid midifelder told reporters. “You can always learn from past experiences.”


“We are here again to fight again with motivation,” he added, “We are doing very good this year.”

“Football is like this sometimes. We did 180 minutes brilliantly but it is not enough sometimes. The last minutes in that leg we did not handle in the right way. It is something we have learned from but I don’t like to talk about the past. We have changed a lot of things. With the hunger of revenge.”

Guardiola, however, has downplayed Rodri’s revenge allegations and insisted that his team is encouraged to achieve the best possible result ahead of next week’s second leg at the Etihad Stadium.

“(Last season’s result was) tough but we made an exceptional first game in Manchester and played a really good game,” Guardiola told reporters.

“In general it was a good performance but it was not enough,” he explained, “You congratulate them and accept it and now one year later we are here.”

“We are not here for revenge. It is another opportunity,” he stated ,”One day we will get it. We will get to the final and win it.”

“It didn’t happen last season as we played Real Madrid and in this competition they know exactly what they have to do.”

Guardiola: ‘Last Season It Was Like The End Of The World’

The Spanish manager talked about his side’s desire to win the most elite European competition.

“Seven years ago we wanted to win the Champions League. Last season it was the end of the world but here we are again,” Guardiola added.


“Being stable is the most important thing. The important thing is we are trying to get better every year. The Premier League is so difficult to qualify for the Champions League,” he explained.

“I have the feeling that after the first Premier League we wanted the Champions League,” he added ,”In two games we are trying to do a good one and that is what we have to do.”

“We were prepared last year too. [I am] the same manager, mainly the same players but completely different games. The difference is the second leg is at home and everything will be decided in Manchester.”

Man City, who will be without injured defender Nathan Ake on Tuesday, have lost two of their previous three Champions League semi-finals, both to Real Madrid, including last year’s loss and a narrow 1-0 aggregate loss under Manuel Pellegrini in 2015-16.

A win this evening would buck the trend and set up a final against either AC Milan or Inter Milan, clubs that City would be confident of beating should they get past Madrid.



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