Pep Guardiola aimed at thinly veiled graves against Manchester United’s two Champions League victories after leading Manchester City into the showcase for the first time in their history.
Riyad Mahrez struck twice then Town produced an excellent all-round performance to beat 10-man Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 at night in the Etihad. The Paris-born winger struck in every half and added his effort in the first leg as Premier League leaders ended an overall victory of 4-1.
PSG threw masses in attack as they tried to chase a draw under unexpectedly icy conditions. But in an impeccable performance by Ruben Dias, they found no way through the blue steel.
After the game, Guardiola gave an insight into the tactical change that helped secure their historic moment.
They face either Real Madrid or Chelsea in the Istanbul showcase later this month.
But in his post-match press conference, Guardiola could not help but dig out rivals United. He suggested that their title in 2008 was due solely to John Terry’s infamous drop in the Moscow rain.
“Getting to the finals now makes sense of what we’ve been doing for the last four or five years,” he said BT Sport.
“Every day, these guys have been consistent, and it’s remarkable. We scored a goal through the hips in the first game and today Marquinhos hit the bar in the first half. You may be looking for small details.
“United won a title due to John Terry’s drop and at the last minute against Bayern Munich. Real won a title against Atletico in the 93rd minute. It’s a competition that’s so tough and something in the stars is involved in it. ”
– Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 4, 2021
Rio Ferdinand, part of BT Sport coverage, offered a prompt response to the reprimand. He could not resist a naughty dig in his own city. However, the former United skipper was also perfect in his praise of City.
Jokingly referring to United’s move of the league title, FA Cup and Champions League in 1999, Ferdinand replied: “It’s not the right treble, but it would be a fantastic achievement.”
However, he claimed City.
“They (create history) and they do it in a great way as they play football,” he added. “Listen, I’m not a Man City fan, everyone knows that, but I like watching them play football.”
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Guardiola is preparing for the final
After wild parties in the city’s locker room, Guardiola admitted focus would soon turn to the Champions League final.
“It’s for all of us and the club. I’m incredibly proud and my first thoughts are to the players who did not play today. They all deserved to play, everyone has contributed and now it’s time to enjoy it, ”he said.
“We have to win the league and we have two or three weeks to prepare for the final.
“They put a lot of players in the middle. We struggled a lot in the first half to high pressure and we switched at half time.
“We recovered the ball better in the second half. It was much better the way we played, and overall 4-1 against a team that beat Barcelona and Bayern Munich, and that means a lot to us.
“They win the league every year, they are a team built to win, they fought to the end. They were a great team, but we were so composed.
“We fought together and we’re in the final of the Champions League and those are good words.”
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