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“I only saw one team” – Rodri questions Real Madrid approach to Manchester City Champions League quarter-final tie



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Manchester City midfielder Rodri has slammed Real Madrid’s tactical approach to the UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie.

The Cityzens crashed out of the Champions League on Wednesday evening, suffering a penalty shoot-out defeat to 14-time winners Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium, and first quarter-final exit since 2020.

With the tie level at 4-4 on aggregate after extra-time in midweek, penalty misses from Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic saw Manchester City eliminated from the competition, crushing hopes of retaining their European crown.

Wednesday’s loss was the Blues’ first in the competition since a similarly dramatic loss to Real Madrid in May 2022, with the 3-4 shoot-out defeat also ending Pep Guardiola’s bid to retain last season’s treble achievement.

The Sky Blues dominated the second-leg in east Manchester, with Kevin De Bruyne cancelling out Rodrygo’s early opener in the 76th minute.

Manchester City registered 33 attempts and had 68% possessions, as well as having 18 corners and making 920 passes in comparison to Real Madrid’s 457 during the 120 minutes.

Discussing Real Madrid’s approach to Wednesday’s second-leg clash at the Etihad Stadium, an impassioned Rodri said: “To be honest, today I only saw one team.

“In terms of defending, they [Real Madrid] defended, they knew how to suffer. In my opinion we should go through in terms of chances, everything. But this is the trick of the Champions League. They know how quite well how to play, and yeah, congratulate them.

“We need to stand up. We need to be mentally positive, find any ambition, which is, right now, it is difficult to find. But tomorrow (Thursday) we will find it, and go against Chelsea, try to be in another final and fight for the Premier League.”

City could still win two further trophies this season, with an Emirates FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on Saturday evening.

Guardiola’s side are also two points clear in the Premier League title race ahead of the final six fixtures of the campaign, with upcoming quick-fire games against Brighton and Nottingham Forest next week.