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FootballReal Madrid v Man City: Repeat of 4-0 triumph 'almost impossible', says...

Real Madrid v Man City: Repeat of 4-0 triumph ‘almost impossible’, says Guardiola

Pep Guardiola says it is “almost impossible” to conceive of Manchester City repeating last season’s 4-0 rout of Real Madrid when the teams face off again in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

City faced Madrid at the semi-final stage last season, one year on from suffering a dramatic 6-5 aggregate defeat to Los Blancos in the last four.

Having played out a cagey 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu last May, City produced arguably their best performance under Guardiola in the second leg, thrashing Madrid 4-0 to reach the final in Istanbul.

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Carlo Ancelotti’s team were hammered by the Spanish media after that result, and the Italian said his side had played with “no personality” at the Etihad Stadium.

Asked about those comments at Monday’s pre-match press conference in Madrid, Guardiola said: “I am not going to disagree with Carlo. I have huge admiration for him.

“I was at Barcelona so I understand when Real Madrid lose, it’s really bad. They have to think the other team was better.

“In football it happens. That game we were better, not because Real Madrid were bad. We made a lot of good things, but at that club you are judged as if it was really bad. It can happen.”

Asked whether a repeat of that 4-0 success was possible this campaign, Guardiola said: “It’s tough. To beat Real Madrid two times in this way is almost impossible.

“Once in this competition is difficult, so imagine two in a row! It’s not easy because they learn and they have pride. We have to try to be smart and see what happens in the second leg.”

Guardiola does not believe last year’s result will provide Madrid with additional motivation ahead of Tuesday’s first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, saying both teams have evolved since that match.

“It was last season. Two seasons ago we went out in the last minutes here. Last season we won,” he said.

“It looks like a classic between them and ourselves in the last few years but I don’t have that feeling about last season. It’s the same managers, but we have new players and they have new players.

“They are completely different games and of course there is a little bit of a comparison because the second leg is at home, but we have to play 90 minutes here.

“The games are long here for many reasons. Expect different games in the same game. They will press high and be aggressive. They are so dangerous.

“Everyone knows the strength of the transitions they have. They have incredible pace to do this. But at the same time, you cannot come here just to control the game because we have to let them know we are here to punish them, to score a goal.

“We are talking about Real Madrid and they have the ability to control many aspects. We have to be who we are and try to impose our game.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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