Pep Guardiola says his Manchester City team has to play much better than they did a week ago in their semi-final first-leg clash with Real Madrid if they are to reach next month’s final in Istanbul, as they host the second leg at their Etihad Stadium.
Kevin De Bruyne’s strike canceled Real Madrid’s advantage after Brazilian winger Vinicius Jnr had given the Spanish side the lead in Madrid a week ago to leave the tie balanced.
Madrid are the defending champions after beating Liverpool in last year’s final in Paris, and also the most successful team in the competition having won the trophy a record 14 times.
They are a specialist in Europe, and their never say die attitude shocked Pep Guardiola’s team in last season’s semi-final after a brace in stoppage time from Rodrygo, and Karim Benzema’s penalty denied City a place in the final against Liverpool.
The Spanish manager is aware of the threats Madrid can pose to any team in Europe and has declared his team needs to play better if they are to make it past the defending champions and reach their second final in history.
” We are in the FA Cup final, we are one game away to win the Premier League, in the semi-finals of the Champions League.”
” At the same time, we have to play much better in the Madrid game so that you can arrive at a good moment. You have to perform well, it’s not just about the desire to dream. I just tell them to relax, what we have to do is what we have done for so many years, especially this season. Guardiola said.
The winner of the tie will play either of the Milan sides, as Inter hold a two-goal advantage over their rivals AC Milan from the first leg.