'It's not true' - Pep Guardiola fires back at Man City Champions League exit criticism

Guardiola complains
Guardiola complains -Credit:2024 Chris Brunskill/Fantasista

Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City did everything they could to progress against Real Madrid in the Champions League this week and fired back at the suggestion that they weren't good enough at the Etihad.

City dominated the game against Real on Wednesday but conceded an early goal by Rodrygo and took an hour to get back on terms as the Spanish giants dropped deeper and deeper. As the contest went into extra time, City's players tired and Real's resolve strengthened, and it was the visitors who came out on top in the lottery of penalties.

Guardiola was philosophical after the game and his stance did not change when previewing City's trip to Wembley to take on Chelsea in the FA Cup, even if the Blues' dream of a treble is over. "We don't have another option and don't want to feel sorry for ourselves. In football you lose games," he insisted.

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"We performed at our best but were not able to win. What next? We don't have time to reflect, we reflect in summertime on what happened during all the season. Football, you compete to win - that is what we have done - but sometimes you lose games. That is what happened.

"You want to play 120 minutes how we played the last 80 minutes against Madrid? Do you know which team we were facing? Did you expect they wouldn't have the ball or create the chances or have the opportunities to create that? And now sitting here do you think we were going to win another Treble? And next season another Treble? And we are going to win the Premier League by 20 points? It's not true."

Guardiola insisted that his side produced their best performance possible and dismissed the idea that Real would have rolled over like they were forced to in last year's semi-final where City demolished them 4-0 at the Etihad.

"The most unbelievable thing is that we competed as a team that we are until the end," he continued. "In some moments they take the ball and 'ah, because last season they didn't do it, this season that means they cannot do it'. They are an incredible team used to playing under pressure with big events and even with that we were absolutely outstanding.

"The margin was we lost on penalties 4-3. You have to accept it. We were good. Good enough? No. If we were a little bit better, we would have won. We don't win - in this business, who wins is right and who doesn't win is wrong. Don't make another analysis. What could have happened if? It doesn't count in that level. You have to win. We did everything. We know it, they know it, all the world knows it. But it wasn't enough."

Guardiola recalled tight defeats in the Champions League when managing Barcelona and Bayern Munich, and challenged his side to simply do better the next time they are in the knockout stages against an elite side.

"They were incredible in their defence in their box. Incredible solidarity. The amount of talent they have, they defended for a long, long, long time. Chapeau," he explained.

"My team is not able to do this. My team have to defend a lot of minutes in the box, we are not good, we could not do it. Big credit to them. Next time if we play again, how can we create 60 shots and more chances to score a goal? That's all they can do. Try to do better. But the players did everything. It happened three days ago against Luton, it happened before against Madrid, it happened against Crystal Palace. Where we come from, it's admirable. The team is always there. I'm so proud. I would love to be there."