Pep Guardiola lauds Manchester City for ‘building history’ after seeing off Borussia Dortmund to reach the Champions League semi-finals and insists the team ‘want more’ as they hunt a historic quadruple this season
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola hailed the club’s ‘incredible’ achievement after Phil Foden’s strike against Dortmund secured a place in the Champions League semi-finals for the first time under his leadership.
Foden struck a stunning winner with 15 minutes remaining to take the tie away from the Bundesliga side – sprinting over to his manager to spark wild celebrations on the touchline.
Riyad Mahrez had equalised from the spot as City shrugged off Jude Bellingham’s early opener to beat Dortmund 4-2 on aggregate and will now face Paris Saint-Germain in the last four.
Pep Guardiola has lavished praise on his Manchester City stars after they overcame Dortmund
‘Phil ran everywhere and then to the bench,’ Guardiola said. ‘This hug is for the whole club, everyone working so hard to achieve what we have.
‘It’s the second time in the semi-final in our history, among the real elite of Europe. We are building history. I’m incredibly happy. The way we played was brilliant, with personality.’
City are three wins from another Premier League title, face Chelsea in an FA Cup semi-final on Saturday and meet Tottenham in the Carabao Cup final this month.
‘It’s incredible what we’ve done,’ Guardiola added. ‘Psychologically, for all of us, it was necessary to get past this stage. We want more now.
The Premier League leaders had to come from behind in Germany and produced a top display
‘They are huge competitors. They wanted to make the next step and today they did it. We never speak about the four titles. One game at a time. Tonight is dinner with the staff and team. There will be good wine.
‘Phil’s goal in the first leg last week was so important. You have the feeling that he never hides. He always creates something. He’s making the right decisions. He’s helped us. He’s growing up, he was the (most) important player to get us to Paris.’
Ilkay Gundogan had told City to hold their nerve and show better reactions to setbacks on the eve of the second leg. The German believes coming from behind indicates their improvement in Europe.
‘We proved ourselves today,’ Gundogan said. ‘It was about staying in the game – attitude and personality. We are ready.
Guardiola hailed City’s ‘incredible’ achievement after suffering failure in previous seasons
‘It means a lot. This club, this team, deserves it. We’re grateful to still be in this competition. We are very happy.
‘Today was once again about showing character. We didn’t play well at all in the first 15 minutes, we weren’t brave enough. We were a bit scared to lose something. That was obvious.
‘After conceding we got into the game. We held more possession. Our target at half-time was to get the first goal. We’re proud of that.
‘We know how tough this competition is. Every single year. The opponents are so difficult. Dortmund have a lot of quality.
Ilkay Gundogan said reaching the semis meant ‘a lot’ to City, who are desperate to succeed
‘Nobody wants to let it go. Everyone wants to succeed. It’s the first step. When you have the right attitude with a good mix of quality and the right ideas, your chances of being successful are always high.’
John Stones and Ruben Dias managed to keep Erling Haaland quiet – the City target failing to find the net in either leg. Dortmund manager Edin Terzic defended his striker but suggested the award of City’s penalty, when Emre Can handled inside the box, was incorrect.
‘Everyone thinks Erling will score for fun every game but he is human,’ Terzic said. ‘He’s playing really well. He played a big part in the goal we scored today. He is working really hard and it won’t be long until he is on the scoresheet again.
Guardiola credited his side with keeping Dortmund talisman Erling Haaland quiet on the night
‘We’re not happy with the refereeing decisions. Why don’t they use the screen? Man City deserved to go through. With a bit of luck we could have progressed.’
Guardiola added: ‘Haaland is almost unstoppable and the best way to play him is not to let them have the ball. Keep him away from the box. He has such good quality with his control. He is top class.
‘This competition is nice but it’s so unfair because if you go out the whole season is a disaster. Maybe today it was a penalty with a hand that might not be given. We were out for a hand against Tottenham (in 2019) from Fernando Llorente.’