Pep Guardiola hailed Phil Foden’s winning goal against Borussia Dortmund as a symbolic strike in Manchester City’s “incredible” season and claimed his hug with the midfielder was “for the club”.
The 20-year-old proved to be the star of the quarter-final tie, bagging the winners in both legs to send City through to the last four for the first time under Guardiola’s leadership.
For a while it looked as though City could be the victims of an upset when English teenager Jude Bellingham fired Dortmund in front on the night and by away goals on aggregate.
But Riyad Mahrez levelled the scoring from the penalty spot after half-time following Emre Can’s handball, prior to Foden smashing in the decider before making a beeline for his manager on the touchline.
“He found me, he run everywhere to the bench and found me,” Guardiola told BT Sport.
“I think this hug is for all the club, all the people working so hard here so far this season to achieve what we achieve so far.
“The Premier League we need three wins to be champions, we are in the semi-finals of the Champions League, semi-finals of the FA Cup, final of the Carabao Cup. Incredible what we have done. Now we recover, celebrate tonight after we see what happens.”
Asked what his words were to Foden during their embrace, Guardiola replied: “[I said] well done, good shot, good goal, thank you. I don’t know what I say in the moment.”
Guardiola spoke before the second leg about how he trusted his played to get the job done in Dortmund after taking a 2-1 lead to the Westfalenstadion.
In doing so, they have set up a mouth-watering tie with Paris Saint-Germain in the semi-finals as both clubs bid to win their first-ever Champions League title.
City now embark on a run of games which could make history as they battle for silverware on four fronts, starting with the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea on Saturday.
Their next six games after that could see them wrap up the Premier League title, play both legs against PSG while also contest the Carabao Cup final with Tottenham, but Guardiola is refusing to get carried away.
“One game at a time, never speak about the four titles. One game at a time,” he said. “The competition we are playing, try to win it. This is what we have to do, so simple, not complication.
“Now Chelsea semi-finals, prepare Aston Villa, the final against Tottenham then start to think about PSG.”
He added: “[We are in the] semi final of Champions League. We cannot expect other than tough. Chelsea, Real Madrid again are there. A lot of games left.
“For the second time in our history we are there with the real elite of Europe. Now I don’t want to think about PSG for one second. I want to celebrate. Dinner with the team, sleep well, then tomorrow [Thursday] come home.”