May 05, (THEWILL) – Pep Guardiola has admitted that Manchester City’s defeat to Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semi-final brought back painful memories of Barcelona’s loss to Chelsea at the same level in 2012.
City led throughout the duration of the two-legged tie and were just seconds away from a 5-3 aggregate triumph, only for two late goals from Rodrygo to take the tie to extra-time, when Karim Benzema scored from the penalty spot to give Los Blancos a place in the final.
THEWILL recalls that back in 2012, Guardiola’s Barcelona were clearly the better team, but they were undone by Chelsea, who stole a 1-0 win in the first leg before a 2-2 draw at Camp Nou took Roberto Di Matteo’s side through to the final.
“I’ve always had defeats in the Champions League, I’ve had defeats so tough,” Guardiola said. “Barcelona against Chelsea, when both games were exceptional and we could not reach the final.
“It’s tough for us, we cannot deny. We were so close to arrive at a Champions League final.”
Guardiola argued that his team bowed under the weight of the moment, admitting that things did not go as planned for the men from the Etihad.
“We didn’t play good in the first half, we didn’t find out game, but that’s normal. In this competition, it’s normal,” he continued.
“The second half was much better…much, much better. After the goal, we controlled the game. Jack [Grealish] helped us to control the game, but unfortunately we could not finish when we were close.”