Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola expressed confidence in his side reaching the Champions League final after they overcame Bayern Munich to book a semi-final clash with holders Real Madrid.
City progressed to the last four of Europe’s premier club competition for a third straight season following a 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich in Germany on Wednesday night.
The stalemate was enough for City to advance 4-1 on aggregate after their commanding 3-0 first-leg win.
Star striker Erling Haaland opened the scoring in the 57th minute to effectively seal City’s passage before Joshua Kimmich netted a late penalty for the hosts.
The result sets up a mouthwatering semi-final encounter with 13-time champions Real Madrid – a repeat of last season’s semi-final which Los Blancos dramatically won.
“The semi-final again … the experience that we have in the competition, the players feel it a lot, they want to do really well,” Guardiola told BT Sport.
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Midfielder Bernardo Silva spoke with confidence about City gaining revenge over Zinedine Zidane’s men. “We always go for it but we feel the team is very, very confident at the minute. I think we are going through,” Silva told BT Sport.
Although City had done the damage in the first leg, Bayern started brightly and spurned several chances before Haaland’s strike ended their hopes.
“We struggled in the first half and 4-1 doesn’t show the two games. Fortunately, they missed their chances. We defended well and in the second half we were much better,” Guardiola said.
“The only regret is we didn’t have more sequences of passes. You have to have more passes against a team of that quality. But apart from that, congratulations to all at Manchester City and thank you to all our fans who came to Munich.”
Haaland’s goal was his 48th this season in a prolific campaign. “Erling is a threat. We know that. He showed personality for the penalty. Though he missed it but it doesn’t matter,” Guardiola said.
“He is having a good season and finishing really good.”
Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel was sent off late on and rated referee Clement Turpin’s performance as “grade E”. However, Tuchel praised his players, saying “there was no difference in class” against City.
“It looks like that from the results, but it’s actually a difference in self-confidence and in form. For the little we allowed [City] to do, we were brutally punished,” Tuchel lamented.
“We played against the best team in Europe today, the most in-form team in Europe. We played completely on the same level, [but] in either game we didn’t have even a tiny bit of luck.”