Pep Guardiola sends ‘heads up’ message to Man City players after Real Madrid thriller
Pep Guardiola insisted he was more bothered with his side creating chances against Real Madrid than finishing them.
Manchester City beat the Champions League heavyweights 4-3 at the Etihad to take a slender advantage into the second leg of their semi-final next week, although Guardiola’s team wasted several excellent chances to win by more goals. Having been frustrated that they could not turn their dominance into goals in their top-of-the-table league game with Liverpool, a similar situation unfolded in this blockbuster encounter.
Carlo Ancelotti suggested that Real will triumph if they defend better in the second leg, but while Guardiola would not get into predictions for the tie he refuted the suggestion that City should be unhappy with their display. One of Barcelona’s most famous sons does not need any reminders of Real’s threats, yet City showed they could go toe-to-toe with them and come out on top.
“I am absolutely not concerned about that,” he said of the missed chances. “What I want is to perform like Liverpool here or Brighton or Watford. Football is football, the result is the result but how we perform is exceptional. Nobody can say the performance was not good. We know we have to maybe rise 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 one 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.
“I don’t have one complaint about the result, about the performance, anything — I’m incredibly happy with how they performed in front of the world.
“We did everything to win, with courage, without the ball, and now we recover and hopefully arrive right well for the game in Leeds and in Madrid.”