Pep Guardiola was delighted with how his Manchester City side progressed to their first-ever Champions League final on Tuesday — and now hopes fate smiles on him and his troops in the decider.
The Premier League leaders ran out comfortable winners at Etihad Stadium in their semifinal against Paris Saint-Germain, having taken a 2-1 lead from the first leg.
Riyad Mahrez netted both the hosts’ goals as they clinched a 4-1 aggregate victory against the French side, who finished with 10 men when Angel Di Maria saw red in the second half.
What was said?
“It is for all of us and the club. I’m incredibly proud and my first thoughts are with the players who didn’t play today,” Guardiola told BT Sport after the final whistle. “They all deserved to play, everyone has made a contribution and now it is time to enjoy it. We have to win the league and we have two or three weeks to prepare for the final.
“People believe it’s easy to arrive in the final of the Champions League. Getting to the final now makes sense of what we have done in the past four or five years. Every day these guys have been consistent and this is remarkable.
“We scored a goal through the hips in the first game, and today Marquinhos hit the bar in the first half — you can be out for little details.
“United won a title because of John Terry’s slip and in the last minute against Bayern Munich and Real won a title against Atletico in the 93rd minute. It’s a competition that is so difficult and something in the stars is involved in that.”
The bigger picture
While FA Cup defeat to Chelsea may have ruined City’s chances of a quadruple in 2020-21, the treble is still a distinct possibility.
Guardiola’s men beat Tottenham to retain the Carabao Cup in April and could wrap up the Premier League title this Saturday with victory over Chelsea.
They must now wait to find out the identity of their rivals in May 29’s Champions League final, with Real Madrid and Chelsea clashing at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday having drawn the first leg 1-1.
Guardiola meanwhile returns to the showpiece fixture for the first time since 2011, when his Barcelona team downed Manchester United to take the crown.