Pep Guardiola hailed his “incredible” players after Manchester City produced a superb performance to beat Paris Saint-Germain to reach their first Champions League final.
Riyad Mahrez scored goals in every half as Premier League leaders beat French champions PSG 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium to claim a 4-1 overall success in their second Ligue 1 semi-final. champions.
This means that Guardiola, who reached the Champions League final for the first time since winning the competition with Barcelona in 2011, will now lead his side against Chelsea or Real Madrid in the final in Istanbul on Saturday 29. May as City attempt to claim it. the major title missing in their trophy cabinet.
Before that, they have domestic issues to work out and could add the Premier League title to the Carabao Cup they won last month with the win over Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, live on Sky Sports (kick off at 5:30 p.m.), while they were bidding. to complete a treble.
And in his post-match press conference, Guardiola praised his players’ achievements during this extremely difficult season.
“We beat a team that knocked out Barcelona and Bayern Munich,” he said.
“We struggled at the start, but we were much better in the second half. It was an incredible and huge victory for us.
“What the players have done this season is incredible in the most difficult year for everyone. Being so close to winning the Premier League and the Champions League final is so good.”
Pep: Win is for everyone in City
The historic progress of the city is the culmination of a long journey for the club since their takeover by Sheikh Mansour in 2008.
Guardiola, who took the reigns in 2016, said the win came from a long list of contributors, paying tribute to the club owners, a host of former club players and everyone who worked so hard to play. a role in establishing City as a dominant force in English football.
YES !!! I love it boys! Well done and well deserved. 💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙 https://t.co/j0cdJCidqN
– Pablo Zabaleta (@pablo_zabaleta) May 4, 2021
“My first words are for the players who haven’t played. I know how difficult it is,” he said.
“My second is for our owners, the president, all the people in Abu Dhabi. Then the players who have played for us before – Colin Bell, Mike Summerbee.
“Then the guys who helped take the club to another level – Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, David Silva, Sergio (Aguero), who is still there. Many players have helped us to be at this stage. , we want to share with them.
“Without them, it wouldn’t be possible.”
“It’s not just about the money invested”
He added: “Of course we have invested money in the last decade since Sheikh Mansour took over the club, but it’s not just about that.
“If you want to think it’s just about the money, that’s fine. But there are a lot of amazing things behind the scenes, a lot of people working, supporting and a clear strategy for doing it.
“What we have been doing over the past four years has been amazing, in terms of the top leagues, the Carabao Cups, the cups and in all the competitions that we have played.
“Reaching the Champions League final is so hard. It’s the hardest, but we did it. We had an amazing Champions League season and now we deserve to be there. We are going to play. the final.”
Pep: It’s not the same without the fans
“It was so weird playing the Champions League semi-final with an empty stadium.
“This achievement should require the presence of our staff, but unfortunately you know what’s going on.
“The club is owned by the people, for sure. We’re here for the time we are living, but the fans are staying here.
“But we’ve done so well and I’m sure they’re so proud and next season when the doors open and they come, they’ll have to support these players.
“It’s good to reach the final but it’s not the same without the fans. We miss them, but that’s what it is.”
How did the actors of the City react on social networks?
When is the Champions League final?
This year’s final will take place in Istanbul on Saturday May 29.
Ataturk’s Olympic Stadium staged the 2005 Champions League showdown, when Liverpool came back 3-0 at halftime to beat AC Milan on penalties.
UEFA has yet to confirm the kick-off time.
- Wed 5 May: Chelsea vs Real Madrid (cumulative: 1-1)
- Sat May 29: Man City vs Chelsea or Real Madrid (Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul)
Opta Stats – Man City makes history
- Manchester City are the ninth English team to reach the European Cup / Champions League final; three more than any other nation (Germany and Italy – 6 teams).
- Man City manager Pep Guardiola ended a streak of four straight UEFA Champions League semi-final eliminations, reaching the final for the first time since 2010-11 with Barcelona.
- City have won their last seven UEFA Champions League games; the longest victory ever for an English team in European Cup / Champions League history. Indeed, City are also the first English team to win 11 matches in a single European Cup / Champions League campaign.
- Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino has lost more games to Pep Guardiola than to any other manager in his managerial career (12). Pep Guardiola’s total of 12 wins against Pochettino is his record against a single manager in his senior managerial career (at the level of Manuel Pellegrini & Sean Dyche).
What’s next for City? Glory in the Premier League?
It’s back to domestic affairs for Manchester City and they could claim the Premier League title this weekend. Man City’s champagne was put on ice last weekend after Man Utd vs Liverpool were postponed – but they might just have to wait a few days to regain the title.
A new date for Manchester United vs Liverpool has yet to be confirmed, but assuming the game is not reorganized for this midweek given United’s Europa League commitments, City could claim the title on Saturday May 8th. when they play at Chelsea, live on Sky Sports.