Soccer

Guardiola urges City not to act like 'small team' after beating Madrid

‘It’s just one step and if we think this is enough it shows we are a small team’: Pep Guardiola urges Man City not to get carried away after defeating Real Madrid to make Champions League quarter-finals

  • Manchester City have eliminated Real Madrid from the Champions League 
  • Pep Guardiola’s side will face Lyon in a one-match quarter final showdown 
  • Guardiola urged his stars not to think this is enough, and act like a small team
  • Raheem Sterling insists his side won because of the amount of running done 

Manchester City sent a message to Europe last night by comprehensively dumping 13-time winners Real Madrid out of the Champions League.

Gabriel Jesus, who assisted Raheem Sterling’s opener before scoring himself, passionately declared City have belief to make history during the competition’s mini-tournament.

Lyon await in next Saturday’s one-legged quarter-final held in Lisbon. City are gunning to reach the last four for the first time under Pep Guardiola’s management after beating Real 4-2 on aggregate.

Pep Guardiola wants Man City to avoid looking like a small team by thinking the job is done 

‘It’s massive for us,’ Jesus said. ‘Real are a top team, the best club in this competition. It’s all about belief.’

Sterling added: ‘I think it was about energy and passion. The most important thing was to run our socks off and the result will follow. I thought the difference was going to be who ran the most and who was willing to put that extra yard and we were brilliant.’

Guardiola was immediately warned by his scouting department to ‘be alert’ of the threat Lyon will pose next weekend after they studied the French side’s second leg at Juventus.

City harried Madrid all night and Gabriel Jesus capitalised to score the match-winning goal

‘We have seven days to prepare,’ Guardiola said. ‘We couldn’t beat Lyon last season, that’s the reality. Let’s enjoy it today and then think about Lyon. We are here to try to win the Champions League.

‘The big clubs lift titles. To get to the quarter-finals is good, knocking Real out means we are aware that we can do it. We’ve not had a lot of presence in Europe as a club so this is important.

‘It’s just one step and if we think this is enough it shows we are a small team. You have to beat the big teams – Real, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Liverpool. We’ve beaten Real twice. Zinedine Zidane never loses knockout games.’

Guardiola has seen his team capitulate defensively in previous seasons but was enthused with the professional way in which they controlled the home second leg.

‘We didn’t make mistakes in behind,’ he said. ‘When you do that they punish you a lot. We were incredibly stable, this is so important. Within a minute we had two chances and we showed the opponent what we wanted to do. We showed ourselves what we wanted to do.’

Lyon await City in the next round, where a one-match fixture will play out in Lisbon

Lyon beat Juventus to progress to the next round, leaving Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. dejected

Zidane bemoaned the sluggishness of his La Liga champions, particularly in an intense opening quarter of the second leg – but refused to openly blame Raphael Varane after two calamitous mistakes for both goals.

‘We lost the two games, and in the end they deserved it,’ Zidane said. ‘In the first 15 or 20 minutes there was feeling we could not get past their press. In the second half, when we were on top, we gave up second goal. We don’t focus on the mistakes.

‘You cannot be happy when you lose, but we must also be proud of what we have done. Rival played very well. This not a time to look for excuses. We lost this game, but most important is I am proud of the effort we made. Sometimes it just does not go for you.’




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