Guardiola on Man City 1-1 Real Madrid

Manchester City Trio Request Substitutions in Real Madrid Defeat, Confirms Guardiola

Real Madrid eliminated Manchester City from the Champions League quarterfinals on penalties, and Pep Guardiola has acknowledged that three players requested to be substituted.

Manchester City 1-1 Real Madrid: Match Overview

The 2nd Leg against Los Blancos at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night was taut and tighter than the thrilling 3-3 draw in the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu last week. Rodrygo gave Los Blancos the lead in the 12th minute.

Although they had 33 shots, 68% of the possession, and 18 corners in their counterattack, the Citizens were first unable to penetrate the strong Real Madrid defence.

But at the 76-minute mark, Kevin De Bruyne fired a close-range effort high into the net at the near post, proving their tenacity in the closing third.

Real Madrid kept up their pressure on City in extra time, forcing the match to penalties. Luka Modric missed the first opportunity for the visitors, but Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic, two City players, were unable to convert from 12 yards out to give Real the lead.

Real Madrid advanced to the semi-finals with a 4-3 shootout victory thanks to Antonio Rudiger’s game-winning penalty kick. Thus, last season’s semi-final victory at the Etihad Stadium was avenged, as the Champions League holders were eliminated at the quarter-final stage.

Also Read: Man City vs Real Madrid UCL Clash Spiced Up by Bernardo Silva Penalty Miss

Pep Reveals Who requested a substitution during Real Madrid’s defeat?

Guardiola made the somewhat unexpected move to substitute top scorer and first-choice penalty shooter Erling Haaland for Julian Alvarez prior to the start of extra time.

Haaland had five attempts of his own, including a looping header that struck the crossbar halfway through the first half, but he only had 21 touches in the ninety minutes. It was another pretty difficult night for the 23-year-old in front of the goal.

Guardiola revealed in the press conference:

“Erling and Kevin asked me to go out, like Manu [Akanji], they could not continue. The game we were playing they were amazing and I am not a big fan of making a lot of substitutions but Kevin, Erling, and Manu asked me to go out.”

De Bruyne, who missed a crucial opportunity in regular time, and Haaland, City’s first-choice penalty taker, would likely have participated in the shootout had they remained on the field.

However, Guardiola expressed no criticism towards Mateo Kovacic or Bernardo Silva, who failed to convert their penalties, emphasizing Silva’s reliability and choice of execution.

Reflecting on the match, Guardiola expressed pride in his team’s performance, stating,

“We did everything. I don’t have any regrets about what we have done. We played exceptional in all departments and unfortunately, we could not win. It is what it is.”

Despite the disappointment, Guardiola now looks to regroup his squad for the upcoming FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley Stadium, emphasizing the importance of rest and recovery for Haaland, De Bruyne, Akanji, and the rest of the senior team.

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