UEFA Champions League English

Pep Guardiola absolves Man City players and Bernardo Silva from blame for Real Madrid defeat

Pep Guardiola harbors ‘no regrets’ over Manchester City’s Champions League and has no complaints over the manner of their Champions League exit to Real Madrid. He’s also not attributing any blame to Bernardo Silva for his poor penalty for the loss.

City clearly dominated proceedings throughout the majority of the match – despite having 33 shots to Real’s eight – yet still couldn’t find a way through the plucky Spanish defence, ending up with penalties deciding their Champions League fate.

Bernardo’s errant chip straight down the middle and a lame effort from Mateo Kovacic saw Real progress at City’s expense, and Guardiola showed his class with his refusal to place blame on anyone for the defeat.

“Bernardo asked to take it, he’s a reliable player and decided to shoot in that way,” Guardiola said after the game. “Bernardo, what a game he played. It happens.

“We did everything. I don’t have any regrets about what we have done. We played exceptional in all departments and unfortunately we could not win. It is what it is.

“It’s football. In this competition, that’s the way football happens. In other sports, for statistics we would have won but in football it’s the marvellous thing about football is this is what happens. The way that we played, the amount of shots that we had, being in there and the transitions we had.

“They scored a great goal with the control of Bellingham and the ball that we put through but we didn’t expect to win 4-0 last year and to score four goals. We needed to put in a performance that showed we were ourselves, the way that we’ve been and that’s what we did tonight. We did it in many things. It’s not been enough, we’re knocked out.

“We could have scored earlier with the way we were playing and then with penalties whatever happens happens. I have to say congratulations to Real Madrid because their ability to resist and defend they did fantastically well until the end of the game and we weren’t able to find that final pass, those small details, to score that final goal.

“I have to say thank you to these players from deep in my heart because the way they played. But football is about winning and we didn’t do enough yet we were exceptional.

“Sometimes you can win on penalties and sometimes you cannot. But in the game we did not convert the chances that we had. Everyone performed at a high level. We said we would have to be at our best to play Real Madrid and they were.”