Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says anything less than 90 minutes into his squad will not help them reach the UEFA Champions League final following their 4-3 win over Real Madrid.
Manchester City quickly started the first leg of the semi-finals on Tuesday, with goals from Kevin de Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus 2-0 in the 11th minute.
There was a feeling that it could have been more but whenever Guardiola’s team threatened to break the stadium, Madrid pulled the lead back.
With Casemiro likely to return to Madrid, Guardiola insisted that City would have to be at the top level to advance to the May final in Paris.
“Without the result, if we were 2-0 or 3-0 we would have gone to the Bernabeu and played well. If we play the way we did in the second half, we will not be able to win,” Guardiola said.
“If we play the way we used to play sometimes, we will play.
“When I became a footballer and manager, when you go to the Bernabeu you have to act like you or there is no way to win. You have to go through these situations to win the Champions League.”
City were also in the same danger in the second leg of the quarter-finals, conceding just one goal in a game against Atletico Madrid in Wanda Metropolitano.
They could have put the game down and undoubtedly the game against Los Blancos fell asleep. Another incident in which Guardiola’s angry outburst overheard Riyad Mahrez bluntly Phil Foden in the first half highlighted what was at stake and the fine lines in play.
The 51-year-old has been comforted by the fact that City have been able to fill those positions but admitted he should see these opportunities at the Bernabeu.
“We miss them but we are old,” he said. “We’ve always been there. There are no complaints about the outcome, performance, or anything. I’m proud of the way we perform in front of the world.
“We did all the winning with courage – with the ball, without the ball.
“Football is football, the result is the result, but the way we play is amazing. No one can say that playing was not good. We know we have to probably improve to reach the finals but this tournament requires that.