Pep Guardiola makes two Real Madrid predictions ahead of Man City Champions League second leg

Pep Guardiola has said Real Madrid will score at the Etihad next week.Pep Guardiola has said Real Madrid will score at the Etihad next week.
Pep Guardiola has said Real Madrid will score at the Etihad next week.
The Manchester City manager is expecting Real Madrid to bring an attacking threat to the Etihad next week.

Pep Guardiola has predicted Real Madrid will score in next week’s Champions League second leg at the Etihad and thinks Manchester City will not repeat last season’s extraordinary 4-0 demolition of Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

The teams played out a pulsating 3-3 draw on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final encounter, before the return leg in Manchester. It leaves City in a similar boat to last season, having drawn the first meeting in Spain and needing to win at the Etihad to progress.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That 4-0 mauling in May 2023 was one of the most comprehensive defeats in Madrid’s history, with City controlling all aspects of the game and preventing Los Blancos creating sufficient chances of their own.

But Guardiola isn’t expecting the game to be as one-sided this time around, owing largely to an attack led by Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo that registered 14 shots at the Bernabeu on Tuesday. “They will score one goal that’s for sure,” was the prophetic claim of the ex-Barcelona ahead of the second leg.

“We have to win the game and it will not be like last season, but we have our people and our people are there,” he told TNT Sports. “It will be sold out and we need all of them and the energy to beat the king of this competition. With our people in Manchester we will go for it.”

That City came away with a draw on Tuesday was testament to their battling qualities after a first half in which Madrid posed a repeated threat on the break. But the second period was a different story, as Phil Foden and Josko Gvardiol netted from distance after City played with greater control and incision.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Federico Valverde’s late volley tied the game, and provided a final moment of drama to cap off an enthralling encounter between the last two Champions League winners. 

“It was a nice game,” was Guardiola’s post-match verdict. “We started really but it’s so difficult against Madrid because they defend really well and the pace they have up front is unbelievable. Always you concede transitions against that team, it is impossible to control it.

“The first half we were a little bit anxious with the ball and after 2-1 we lose a lot of balls that players usually don’t lose. When that happens against that team it is so difficult to avoid it.

“But the second half we showed our incredible personality in the way we played and 2-1 is a risk - you concede another goal on the transition and it is 3-1, 4-1 and Manchester will be difficult. We continue playing with a lot of composure, much better than the first half. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We make two fantastic goals with Phil and Josko and in the end, Madrid, you are 76/77 minutes in this stadium, it is an eternity. We knew it and 3-3, we take it and we have to win a game to qualify for the semi-final.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.