Pep Guardiola: Man City starting to build Champions League history

Pep Guardiola hailed Manchester City’s “incredible” achievement in making the semi-finals of the Champions League, saying he is starting to build history at the club.

Goals from Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden meant City came from behind against Borussia Dortmund to end their poor run in Champions League quarter-finals, progressing 4-2 on aggregate after a 2-1 win in Germany.

The victory sees City, who play PSG in the next round, reach just their second semi-final in the club’s history and the first in the Guardiola era.

“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.

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  • Borussia Dortmund 1-2 Man City (Agg: 2-4) – Match report
  • Champions League semi-final draw
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“We were brilliant except for the first 10 minutes. We’re going to try and play a good game [against PSG].

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“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 make the next step – and they did.”

On clearing a psychological hurdle of reaching the last four, Guardiola added: “For the club it is so important, we cannot deny it.

“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.

Pep on Foden celebrations – and keeping Haaland quiet

Foden reemphasised his importance to City by netting the crucial second goal that meant Dortmund needed to score three times in the final stages to turn the tie around.

The England international has become a key player for Guardiola after coming through City’s youth ranks and is now keeping out Raheem Sterling in the important matches.

Foden’s goal sparked huge celebrations on the City bench, with the player running straight to Guardiola and embracing his manager, who looked emotional.

When asked what he said to Foden during the celebrations, Guardiola said: “I said, ‘well done, good shot, thank you.’ He ran to the bench and he found me. It was a hug for all the club, everyone that has been working so hard here this season to achieve what we have achieved so far.

“It’s incredible what we have done, and now we just have to recover, celebrate tonight, and after that we’ll see what happens.”

City kept the highly-rated Erling Haaland quiet in both legs of the tie.

Guardiola added: “I would say this player is almost unstoppable and the best way to defend against these talented players is to not let them have the ball. They want the ball, they need the ball, so don’t (let them) have it.”

Dortmund boss: Not happy with referee

Dortmund’s interim coach Edin Terzic congratulated City on their win but felt his side could feel aggrieved by two notable refereeing decisions over the tie.

The Bundesliga side controversially had a goal disallowed at the Etihad Stadium and Terzic felt the penalty awarded against them in the return for handball against Emre Can was harsh.

Terzic said: “We are not happy with the decisions the referee took over the last eight days in both games. We don’t understand why they don’t use the screen if it is there to help.

“But this was one piece of the games, Man City deserved to go through to the next round.”

The highs and lows of football. So proud to be part of this club, with these teammates.🖤💛#JB22 pic.twitter.com/T4QVTiFoco

One aspect of which he could be proud was the performance of 17-year-old England international Jude Bellingham, who shone in both games.

Terzic said: “The only thing we don’t know about Jude is his limit. He has so much potential and talent.

“He is a great boy who wants to improve. We need to find out what is his limit and try to push him towards this limit. Tonight the whole world saw what he is capable of.”

Semi-final draw

First legs: April 27/28 | Second legs: May 4/5

  • Paris Saint-Germain vs Manchester City
  • Real Madrid vs Chelsea

What’s next?

Manchester City face another key marker on their road to the quadruple as they face Chelsea in a FA Cup semi final at Wembley on Saturday, 5.30pm kick off.

Dortmund are seven points off in the race for the top four in Germany and play Werder Bremen on Saturday, 12.30pm kick off.

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