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Pep Guardiola was unhappy with his team’s performance, despite Manchester City’s progression past Atletico Madrid to the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday.
After their 1-0 win in the first match, City went on with a goalless draw at Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday, but they were increasingly on the back burner as the second match progressed.
There was a prevailing feeling that Atleti would be the team to find a higher gear in the second half, and if not for some desperate City defenders, once put on their own half, a draw could at least have gone to extended playing time.
Guardiola admitted that City were lucky to move on to an Atleti team well prepared by Diego Simeone, especially as the final exchanges became more hectic.
“The [Atletico] played very well, they put us on our own half of the field and there was no way around it. We had forgotten how to play, “Guardiola told Movistar + after the match. “We are celebrating, but we could easily have been eliminated. Atletico played a fantastic second half.
“Today we could have been knocked out of a competition, and fortunately we continue. They were very good and when they push on, it can be very complicated. We resisted, but it could have fallen the other way.
“The coaches from the sidelines, with the atmosphere, the players do not listen to us. They just tried to control the ball, but we did not control the ball, and when you do not control the ball, they can use it. ”
– Manchester City (@ManCity) April 13, 2022
Guardiola’s team never really clicked on Wednesday, even after Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden switched positions to give City a greater presence in midfield.
When people like Rodrigo de Paul and Angel Correa came in for Atleti, there was an exit and end product to their dominance between the penalty area fields.
Along with the performance, City will now be without Joao Cancelo when they face Real Madrid in the semi-finals, while Kyle Walker and Kevin de Bruyne came off injured.
However, the 51-year-old coach understands that simplicity is a luxury at this stage of the competition.
“The only thing missing is if it wasn’t complicated,” he said. “The King of Competition. This is the third semi-final in our Champions League history.
“We have repeated last year and it is a success for us. If, on the other hand, we play as we did in the second half, we have no choice. We will try to raise our level.”