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“They told me to do it” — Pep Guardiola on Real Madrid decision



"They told me to do it" -- Pep Guardiola on Real Madrid decision

A decision Pep Guardiola took in the game versus Real Madrid may have cost Manchester City a Champions League title defense when it most mattered.

In the dramatic Champions League quarter-final showdown at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City’s hopes of defending their trophy were dashed as they suffered a heartbreaking defeat to Real Madrid after playing out a 1-1 draw.

The second leg which ended in a 1-1 draw, forced the tie into extra time and eventually a penalty shootout to determine the winner, with Real Madrid prevailing.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola disclosed post-match that key players Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne requested to be substituted due to fitness concerns during the tense encounter. Guardiola revealed that alongside Haaland and De Bruyne, defender Manu Akanji also sought to be replaced.

“Manu [Akanji], Erling [Haaland], and Kevin [De Bruyne] asked me to go out. They couldn’t continue,” Guardiola disclosed to the media after the match.

Despite Manchester City’s efforts to secure victory, including a valiant performance in extra time, the inability to convert penalties ultimately led to their elimination from the competition.

Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic were both thwarted by Real Madrid’s goalkeeper, sealing City’s fate and marking the end of their Champions League campaign.