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How is Bernardo Silva and inside the dressing room after Real Madrid – Every word from part two of Pep Guardiola’s pre-Chelsea press conference



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Pep Guardiola has reaffirmed his respect for the Manchester City players that stepped up to take penalties against Real Madrid on Wednesday night.

The Premier League champions have had little to no time to digest the heartbreaking defeat to Los Blancos in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, immediately turning attentions to yet another mammoth contest in the final weeks of the season.

Pep Guardiola’s side will balance their FA Cup pursuits with an ongoing Premier League title battle with Arsenal and Liverpool, as Manchester City look to become the first side to win back-to-back domestic doubles.

Chelsea are the opponents this weekend with Manchester City making their second trip to Wembley Stadium of the season following on from the Community Shield defeat to Arsenal last August.

Speaking to the media in part two of his pre-match press conference, Pep Guardiola discussed Bernardo Silva’s emotions following his penalty miss moment against Real Madrid, as well as offering an insight into the Manchester City dressing room on Wednesday night.

Here is part two of Pep Guardiola’s pre-match press conference ahead of the meeting with Chelsea!

On Bernardo Silva

“Yeah, ready. (Right character to put the penalty miss behind him?) Listen, in these situations, the guys who take the penalties are heroes for me. The guys who took the ball, to go there to shoot, they can do whatever they want. You have to be a huge personality to to do it. And not everyone is able to do it, and they did it. So that’s why chapeau.

“So, miss it, miss it. Sometimes you shoot in one way… I said to them, just one idea, be convinced in what you have to do. He decides to do this? It’s fine, he missed it, he didn’t want to miss it. It happens. But being there, in front, responsibility for everyone and do it, when that happens, I will never, never judge, absolutely. Completely the opposite. I have big respect.”

On whether Manchester City practice penalty shoot-outs

“Sometimes we practice, yeah. But it’s just how you feel in the moment, what the decision is you’re going to take and the tiredness that you have, mentally, physicality, you have to be so strong there. But of course, yeah, they practice during the day.”

On Manchester City having the chance to be the first English team to win consecutive doubles

“You asked me about the Treble and look what happened after that. They are out. (It’s kind of been forgotten!) I don’t know Jamie (Jackson), I think we are, for the problems that we had and I know what happened this season for injuries for some players that took time to take the rhythm, new players and important players that left, I could not expect being in that position, here, it’s a little bit…

“We were close again because we performed to be close but didn’t happen. For my advice, about the past and the Treble or the double, these kind of things, why are we not focussed on Chelsea? It’s enough of a target to think about it. I would say when you have one game left, or two games from the end of the Premier League or already in the Final of the FA Cup, now I can answer you perfectly.

“Chelsea we felt two times how strong they are, the weapons they have up front, Cole (Palmer) has been the decisive player maybe of the season in many aspects, and they are really, really difficult, and we travel in the situation that we know we have, so win that game and see what happens in the next three, four, five games in the Premier League and after we will see.”

On what he says to the players after Real Madrid

“Nothing. After the game I said thank you to them for how… We talked about the game, being ourselves. All of us, we wanted to win but we never know what’s going to happen, but at least try to be ourselves and more than ever we were ourselves, but it was not enough. And after that happens, I said thank you to all of them, to dignify the profession, the job, what they do, after what they have done in the past, the humility to try it again, and after that not even one word.

“It’s just you have to pass the moment alone everyone being himself, families, friends, and it’s not necessary to have words in that moment, everyone is sad and they have to accept it. But as much there, today it was more smiles and they were already on the pitch and OK, FA Cup semi-final is a huge target to reach another Final, we lived it last season.

“It’s so nice the FA Cup Final, and maybe the toughest opponent we can face right now, in all respect for (Manchester) United and Coventry, of course, but it’s a really tough opponent and we travel this afternoon and try to smell who feels better, who recovers better from the game against Madrid, because you talk with them, ‘No, no I’m fine Pep, I’m fine Pep, I’m fine’, but at the end you never know if they are fine because sometimes you recover better than other ones, and everyone is ready to try to do this battle again.”

On whether it is fair to say he did not expect Manchester City to be in this position again after form in October/November

“Yeah, completely. Completely. I didn’t expect. (What changed?) No I didn’t expect. I think in general, I said in October and November, the level we were playing is good. Always to compare with the Treble teams or before, when you compare with the Treble the memory there is here (high), always you are losing, but it’s not that feeling.

“I remember clearly the game against Crystal Palace, we draw, the game against Tottenham, we draw, against Liverpool draw at home, so many games we were outstanding levels. So it’s not a turning point I would say before the World Cup we were bad, and the other ones. We started good and were up and downs, that is normal for the opponents, for many reasons.

“But the level of consistency being here. I am pretty sure our opponents, our contenders admire us for just that point, after six or seven years being there and still being there, they know these guys are unbelievable. I know that feeling, I know they think about that, it’s not about the quality, it’s every day doing your job, and we have done it.

“Still we are there, and it’s just one month until the end of the season, one game, potentially two in the FA Cup, six Premier League games, and they have to do the rest. We work a lot, like all the teams of course, but we’re included, we worked a lot, to not get rid of one second our dreams and our intentions to try to do it again. So this is going to happen.”

On whether opponents tell him they think Manchester City are unbelievable

“No, I don’t think with them, but I have the feeling. This is how I would feel. I admire Liverpool for that, so whatever happens this season, I admire Liverpool, When I said Jurgen (Klopp), Liverpool always has been, because it’s that, it’s the team that faced us, the real, real contender that faced us face to face and goes against you.

“And during six, seven years. And I don’t judge for at the end you lift the trophy or don’t lift the trophy for the last curve, the last corner, it’s the amount of games during seasons by seasons, being there. And this is the most difficult thing, and being in that position we were close, still fighting for the titles, and one month left. I would sign every season to arrive with one month left fighting for the three titles.

“In my career, until the end, it’s what I dream of. It’s the best. When my teams do this it’s because you have been really good that season. And after we win the final… Always I put the example, we lost last game on penalties when we were really, really good, and we won the Champions League with (Romelu) Lukaku three metres, THREE METRES, ALONE, in the middle of the goal, falls to Ederson! And Ederson saves it. And we are an incredible team, how good is Manchester City. And last game we did everything, and we could not score.

“These margins, at this level, is… and you have to accept it. It’s the stars, I don’t know, it’s football. I would say it’s not about Inter, or City, or Madrid or Barcelona, it’s football. Football is like that. It happened in Madrid, it happened in Atletico Madrid, it happened against Chelsea, it happened against Inter, Inter Milan against us, or Chelsea against us, it’s football. And you have to accept it.

“But what is important is I will sign arriving in those stages, in this press conference, after quarter-finals, semi-finals, for the fact of fighting for the titles? That means in every game you have been who you are. And there’s no doubts about that, this team is unbelievable in that sense. Unbelievable.”

On whether fine margins emphasises the magnitude of Manchester City’s Treble

“No I don’t think you have to… I think everybody knows how difficult it is what we have done in that season, and the same is the difficulty still being there being close to be… So maybe we’ll go out of the FA Cup and we don’t reach the final, but being there in the semi-finals, we were in Luton away – we know how difficult is that stadium, and Spurs away. And at the end, even Newcastle at home, so we know perfectly.

“And being out in the way that we did in the quarter-finals of the Champions League against Madrid, it happens. But you know, in the group stage we won all the games, we didn’t lose one game, we are out of the Champions League and we didn’t lose one game. So we were there. We can be better, yeah, of course, always we can be better, even winning the Treble we could’ve been better.

“But the level of every time is always remarkable. I don’t have bad feelings or anger to say something to the team or the club. When you see how we behaved, it’s just OK, relax, try to forget, and prepare for the next game.”

On whether he would pick any game after a knock-out defeat to Real Madrid, and it being Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final – another big knock-out

“Well, I don’t know. Maybe I would pick one week later and after then, do it. It is what it is. It’s the same like I said about Madrid, before Crystal Palace, Luton, it is what it is. I prefer to be in the Champions League than not, the semi-finals of the Champions League with a little bit more margin of time. I prefer to play this, than stay at home thinking about the next Premier League game because we were out of the FA Cup.

“Until we are out, it’s better to be here, even the situation or circumstances that we have, I explained weeks ago, no time absolutely that we go there, and we go there, and try absolutely to be our best. I said, I don’t want to feel sorry for ourselves for the fact that we are out and it’s the highest level, the top level, these kind of situations can happen. You arrive in the last stages with the best teams in the world, the best teams in the country, and sometimes you lose games.

“There is no better, I think, fact, than being a top, top club when you accept that with normality. The problem is when you don’t perform, or you are not who you are. Then it’s a problem. But when it happens that, accept that they can beat you, that in football it happens, that sometimes you win when you don’t deserve it.

“It happened a few times now in our club, I would say, but sometimes it happens that you don’t win when they were better. But what can I say, except accept it, congratulate them, and you improve for the next time it happens, what can you do a little bit better to beat them again. This is the only way I know. If you start to complain about this and that, and that decision, the other decision, we were lucky, unlucky, what is that?! In 180 minutes, always there are unlucky for both sides, there are moments of luck, there are missed chances for both sides. At the end, this is what it was.”

On whether he needs to do anything different after a big defeat, or does he just know Manchester City will bounce back

“It’s not the first time we are losing in the quarter-finals or the semi-finals of the Champions League in the past. I remember many times were were in the quarter-finals out, and have six, seven games left to win the Premier League and we have to win all the games, you have to respond well and we did it. That means we’re going to do it again? I don’t know.

“But I don’t think I have to say much to them, they know, they are so mature in many aspects, we will remember that, we will remember that still we had a lot of nice things to fight or to do, and we start one by one. In the semi-finals of the FA Cup is enough, it’s important enough to take seriously.”

On Manuel Akanji available tomorrow

“Yeah. No (injury). They were so tired, that’s all.”