Pep Guardiola reveals three Man City players asked to come off against Real Madrid


Pep Guardiola has revealed that three Manchester City players asked him to be substituted prior to the Champions League quarter-final penalty shootout loss to Real Madrid.

City lost 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium.

Mateo Kovacic and Bernardo Silva both missed from the spot for Guardiola’s side, while only Luka Modric failed to convert for Real Madrid.

The result ended City’s hopes of retaining the Champions League trophy that they won for the first time in their history last season.

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While Guardiola had a number of strong penalty takers to choose from ahead of the shootout, there were questions raised about Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne – two players who would almost certainly have taken spot kicks – not being on the pitch.

But Guardiola has since confirmed that both players, as well as the injured Manuel Akanji, actually requested to come off during extra time as they felt they were unable to complete the entirety of the 120 minutes.

The Spaniard explained: “They asked me to go out. They could not continue.

“I don’t have any regrets about what we have done. Always we try to create more chances and concede less, because we believe that helps you to win and we did everything.

“We played exceptionally in all departments and unfortunately we could not win.”


On Bernardo’s missed penalty in the shootout, Guardiola added: “Bernardo asked to take it. He’s a reliable player, and decided to shoot in that way. What a game he had played. It happens.”

City will now be able to focus on winning the Premier League and FA Cup in the closing weeks of the season.

They are currently top of the Premier League by two points after both Arsenal and Liverpool lost their weekend games to Aston Villa and Crystal Palace respectively.

Featured Image Credit: Getty / TNT Sports