Sunday, September 24, 2023

Man City not on revenge mission against Real Madrid: Guardiola

“It will be a huge mistake to think we are here for revenge; we are not! We must face it as another opportunity (to reach the final).”

• May 9, 2023

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says his players must on Tuesday avoid falling into the trap of trying to avenge last year’s UEFA Champions League semi-final defeat to Real Madrid.

“It will be a huge mistake to think we are here for revenge; we are not! We must face it as another opportunity (to reach the final),” Guardiola told a news conference later on Monday.

Both teams will meet on Tuesday at the same tournament stage, with Manchester City away in the first leg in Madrid.

Guardiola was visibly upset with a comment by his midfielder Rodri earlier in their press conference at Santiago Bernabeu earlier on Monday.

He said he looked forward to “a chance for revenge” against Real Madrid.

“We are here to get a good result because everything will be decided in Manchester, not here,” he said. “What happened last season happened, period. This is another opportunity, nothing more.”

“The best lesson we can take from last season is that we are not coming here for revenge but for a good result. And to have the final open for Manchester.”

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti spoke earlier on Monday about the importance of going into the second leg with a mental edge.

Asked about the comments, Guardiola was once again uneasy, disagreeing with his opposite number.

“Last year, we got here with a huge mental edge after winning well (in) the first leg. But look what happened,” Guardiola said.

“Ferland Mendy saved a ball off the goalline, and what happened still happened. Those are the details that take you to a final or not.”

After beating Real Madrid 4-3 in a thriller in the first leg last year in Manchester, Manchester City saw the Spanish giants fight back from the brink of elimination.

They beat them 3-1 after extra time to get to the final.

“When I arrived at Manchester City, I thought I would win the Champions League in the first year, then in the next one… and the one after that.

“And the last one, the same thing. That’s my mentality. And here we are, we are here to try again,” Guardiola said.


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