The manager of Manchester City, Pep Guardiola has finally broken the jinx that has been making it impossible for the club to go beyond the quarter-final stage of the UEFA Champions League campaign under his reign.
On Wednesday, April 14, Pep Guardiola led Manchester City to Germany to play the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie against Borussia Dortmund. The Premier League club was able to defeat Dortmund 2-1 after an intense 90 minutes of football.
Recall that Dortmund visited Manchester City last week for the first leg of the tie and the Premier League side defeated the German club 2-1. This means that Manchester City reached the semi-final stage of the Champions League for the first time under Pep Guardiola 4-2 on aggregate.
Though Pep Guardiola has led FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich to the final of the Champions League on a couple of occasions, he found it difficult to go that far since he arrived at Manchester City in 2016.
Since then, Pep Guardiola has led Manchester City to 4 successive quarter-final appearances without any success beyond that stage of the competition.
The coach has finally put such a record behind him. He will lead the current Premier League table-toppers to the club’s second semi-final game in the history of the club.
A big performance on a big stage! @IlkayGuendogan was chosen as the @ChampionsLeague Player of the Match! 🏆— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 14, 2021
🔷 #ManCity | https://t.co/axa0klD5re pic.twitter.com/mNxYKEQvyC
In his reaction after knocking out Borussia Dortmund from the quarter-final stage of the Champions League, Pep Guardiola described the feat as an incredible achievement, noting that qualifying Manchester City for the semi-final stage of the competition is the beginning of Champions League history at the club.
“It feels incredible,” Guardiola told BT Sport. “This is the second time we have got to the semi-finals, so there is not much history for our club here, but we will start to build it.
“We were brilliant except for the first 10 minutes. We’re going to try and play a good game [against PSG].
“Semi-final, Champions League. For the second time in our history, we are there with the real elite of Europe. Now, I don’t want to think for one second about PSG. I want to celebrate. Dinner with the staff and the team. I don’t know which wine, it will be with wine for sure.
“It is a good moment for all of us, especially the players. We cannot forget, in the five years we are together, we have gone out of the Champions League four times.
“The players suffer the same as the backroom staff and all the people working in the club. They are huge competitors, and they want to take the next step – and they did.”
“For the club, it is so important, we cannot deny it”, Pep Guardiola added when asked about how he dealt with the psychological state of not making it to the semi-final stage of Champions League with Manchester City.
“This competition is tough. You work for 10 months and you are judged for one game. You go out and your season is judged a failure, a disaster club. This is not fair. We cannot judge what these guys have done in four or five years.
“But saying that, psychologically, for all of us – the players, myself, the backroom staff, my chairman, CEO, to pass this moment of the quarter-finals to get to the semi-finals was necessary. Now, of course, we want more.”
Confidence was key in Dortmund, says penalty hero @Mahrez22 💬— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 14, 2021
🟡 1-2 (2-4) 🔷 #ManCity | https://t.co/axa0klD5re pic.twitter.com/Gycmi64HzB
Manchester City will now face French Ligue 1 champions, Paris Saint Germain in the semi-final stage of the competition. The two teams who are yet to win the Champions League title in their clubs’ history would face each other in the first leg of the semi-final round on Tuesday, April 27.
While Real Madrid and Chelsea would square up in the other part of the semi-final round on the same date. As of the time of publishing this report, the time for the two semi-final fixtures is yet to be determined.