Pep Guardiola’s Real Madrid comments are just what Man City need in the Premier League – Jack Flintham
Very few defeats in football could sting quite as much as Manchester City’s collapse at Real Madrid on Wednesday.
On 99 occasions out of 100, Pep Guardiola’s men would see out that match and progress through to a huge season finale against Liverpool. But a perfect storm descended on the Bernabeu from the 90th minute onwards and showed how unjust the beautiful game can be.
It may be unbelievably painful for many days, weeks and months to come but, as with most things in life, football has a way of evening itself out. While City fans will take time to dwell on what might have been, Guardiola’s team need to forget about their midweek Madrid horrors as quickly as possible.
“We have to do it with our people. The players gave everything. We were so close. We couldn’t do it.
“In the history of football this happens. With the people supporting them it’s more difficult.
“This will have a positive impact on the Real players. On us? I don’t know. They won, that’s it. We weren’t suffering all that much I don’t think.”
These words should provide hope for City looking ahead to Sunday’s crucial league clash with Newcastle United. The disappointment that was etched across the faces of all those of a blue persuasion is natural.
What Guardiola said after the match is more likely true than not though, the City players know that they can’t allow 120 minutes to derail their whole campaign. This season promised a great deal and it should not be looked upon as a failure based on one unfortunate night where the stars aligned for their opponents.
City have been the best side in the Premier League this season — to keep a team like Liverpool at bay is testament to that. If they managed to walk away from this season with ‘just’ a Premier League crown it should still be deemed as a success.
In many ways the City players must treat this nightmare as a blessing in disguise. At the moment they find themselves in an unfamiliar position of ridicule from rival fans; it just goes to show how times have changed when a City defeat is celebrated like a United victory in the red half of Manchester.
But lifting the Premier League on May 22 will feel all the sweeter following the adversity they suffered in Madrid. Knowing how this City side ticks since Guardiola arrived in Manchester, that will be the players’ motivation between now and the end of the season.