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“A fantastic way to lose” – Pep Guardiola reflects on Manchester City shoot-out defeat to Real Madrid



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has reflected on Wednesday’s agonising penalty shoot-out loss to Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.

The Catalan saw his side exit the European competition at the last-eight stage for the first time since 2020, as 14-time winners Real Madrid defeated Manchester City on penalties at the Etihad Stadium.

Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic both missed during the shoot-out for the Sky Blues, with Kevin De Bruyne’s 76th minute equaliser having sent the tie to extra-time, after Rodrygo smashed Real Madrid ahead just 12 minutes into the second-leg.

Manchester City dominated the clash against the La Liga side at the Etihad Stadium, creating 33 attempts and having 68% possession, alongside winning 18 corners and completing over 900 passes.

The Cityzens also technically extended their unbeaten run to a record 28 matches, and remain unbeaten at the Etihad Stadium in 42 games – the longest streak in the club’s history.

Both De Bruyne and Erling Haaland were unable to feature in the shoot-out, with the attacking pair withdrawn during extra-time, forcing Guardiola into two substitutions.

As well as coming from behind in midweek, Manchester City bounced back from 1-2 down in the first-leg at the Santiago Bernabéu, courtesy of goals from Phil Foden and Josko Gvardiol.

Speaking following Wednesday night’s exit, Guardiola said: “We did everything to almost do it and to lose like this hurts, but what a fantastic way to lose.

“We created the chances to do it but football is about scoring goals. Thank you to my players. It is a result business, they [Real Madrid] are in the semi-final and we are not.

“We have no regrets about what we have done. We played exceptional in all departments but unfortunately we did not win. I have the opportunity to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to these players. The performance, the commitment was exceptional.

“Johan Cruyff said luck doesn’t exist, I agree. Losing like this hurts. We feel bad but we’ve done all we can. What can I say to these players. We’ve shown we can play against a big side. What more could we have done?”

Guardiola’s side could still win a further two trophies this season, having already won both the FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup during the current campaign.

Manchester City face Chelsea in the semi-finals of the Emirates FA Cup and are also two points clear of Arsenal and Liverpool in the race for the Premier League title.