Pep Guardiola was aiming to barely veil Manchester United’s two Champions League triumphs after guiding Manchester City into the centerpiece for the first time in their history.
Riyad Mahrez struck twice City produced a superb overall performance to beat 10-man Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 on the night at the Etihad. The Paris-born winger has struck in every half, adding to his first-leg effort, as Premier League leader won a total victory of 4-1.
PSG launched a lot of attack as they tried to chase the tie in unexpected icy conditions. But in a flawless performance by Ruben Dias, they found no way to cross the Blue Steel.
After the game, Guardiola gave insight into the tactical shift that helped secure their historic moment.
They will meet Real Madrid or Chelsea in the Istanbul centerpiece later this month.
But in his post-match press conference, Guardiola couldn’t help but track down rivals United. He suggested their 2008 title was solely due to John Terry’s infamous slip in the Moscow rain.
“Getting to the final now makes sense of what we’ve been doing over the past four or five years,” he said. BT Sport.
“Every day these guys have been consistent and it’s remarkable. We scored a goal in the hips in the first game, and today Marquinhos hit the bar in the first half. You can be out for small details.
“United won a title because of John Terry’s slip 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.
– Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 4, 2021
Rio Ferdinand, part of the BT Sport cover, offered a quick response to the reprimand. He couldn’t resist a cheeky search in City on his own. However, the former United skipper also praised City.
Joking about the United, FA Cup and Champions League title in 1999, Ferdinand replied: “It’s not the real hat-trick, but it would be a fantastic achievement.”
He praised City, however.
“They (create the story) and they do it in a fantastic way, like they play football,” he added. “Look, I’m not a Man City fan, everyone knows that, but I love to watch them play football.”
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Guardiola prepares for the final
After crazy celebrations in City’s locker room, Guardiola admitted that attention would soon turn to the Champions League final.
“It’s for all of us and for the club. I’m incredibly proud and my first thoughts are with the players who haven’t played today. They all deserved to play, everyone made their contribution and now is the 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 at high pressure and we changed at half time.
“We got the ball better in the second half. It was a lot better in the way we played and 4-1 overall against a team that beat Barcelona and Bayern Munich and that means a lot to us.
“They win the league every year, they’re a team built to win, they fought to the end. It was a huge team but we were so composed.
“We fought together and we are in the Champions League final and those are beautiful words.”
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