Pep Guardiola reacts to Man City defeat after stunning Real Madrid comeback

Manchester City Head Coach Pep Guardiola during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final Leg Two match between Real Madrid and Manchester City at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on May 4, 2022 in Madrid, Spain.

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City must accept their latest Champions League heartbreak and refocus on their bid to retain the Premier League after their stunning semi-final defeat to Real Madrid.

City were moments away from setting up an all-English final against Liverpool before Real launched a remarkable comeback at the Bernabeu.

A second-half goal from Riyad Mahrez the Premier League champions on the brink but two goals inside two minutes from Rodrygo in injury time saw Real force extra-time with the tie poised at 5-5 on aggregate.

Karim Benzema continued his sensational run of form in this competition after scoring from the penalty spot in extra time, his 10th goal in five consecutive games.

Real held on to ensure City’s agonising wait for a Champions League triumph goes on for at least another season.

 We were close. But at the end we could not reach it,’ Guardiola told BT Sport, reacting to the defeat.

It is simple, the first half we didn’t have a good game, we were not giving enough but we didn’t suffer much. We were better after the goal, we found our tempo. And in the last 10 mins we didn’t suffer. 

There were moments, but we were not under pressure, this was not the case. They put a lot of players in the box, Rodrygo, Vinicius, Benzema, Asensio, with crosses and scored twice.

We didn’t suffer much but we didn’t play our best but this is normal. We were close. Football is unpredictable and sometimes you have to accept it.

Asked about the mood in the City dressing room, Guardiola added: They are sad. Because we were close. Now we need time to process and come back in our last games.

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