Pep Guardiola hailed Manchester City’s historic achievement in reaching the club’s first Champions League final after a stunning 2-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain which sealed an impressive 4-1 aggregate victory.
Riyad Mahrez’s goals in each half and a rock-solid defensive performance at the Etihad Stadium saw City face either Chelsea or Real Madrid in the centerpiece in Istanbul on May 29.
Guardiola said: “Definitely for all of us and for the club and I’m incredibly proud. We are in the Champions League final. These are beautiful words [to say]. Now we will start to enjoy it. We need a step to win the Premier League [by beating Chelsea at home on Saturday] and we have two or three weeks to prepare for the final.
To become European champion, Guardiola thinks it might have to be written in the stars.
“Manchester United won the Champions League [in 2008 against Chelsea] car [John] Terry slipped [in the penalty shootout].
“United won at the last minute at Camp Nou [against Bayern Munich] in the last minutes [in 1999]. The stars are involved in this. I think reaching the Champions League final gave us a better understanding of what we did [my] five years as a manager.
“Reaching the final is so difficult, because of the quality of the opponents, the suffering in the most difficult times, we had an incredible season, winning 11 wins. [of 12 games in the competition] so we deserve to be there.
City supporters had greeted the team outside the stadium ahead of the game and Guardiola congratulated them. “The club belongs to the people,” he said. “We’re here for a period but the fans are still staying. Next season the doors are open [after the pandemic lockdown is eased] and they have to support these players – what they’ve done is amazing in the toughest year.
In the second half, many PSG players lost their heads, with Ángel Di María sent off by referee Bjorn Kuipers, Marco Verratti having the chance not to join him for wild lunges, and Presnel Kimpembe knocking down Gabriel Jesus in a challenge. dangerous. Di María’s red card followed that of teammate Idrissa Gueye in last week’s first leg.
Guardiola was asked about the spirits of PSG which are unraveling on Tuesday night. “They are huge competitors – they don’t give up [so] they made a mistake and a fault and that is why they did it. Oleksandr [Zinchenko] must improve like a red card and you are absent, ”said the manager of his left-back who had been booked in the second half under the anger of Leandro Paredes.
Mahrez said: “They lost their nerves and started kicking us and it was good, they had a red card and it made us more comfortable.
Ander Herrera claimed that Kuipers swore against Paredes. “We talk about respect with the referees – the referee tonight said go away to Leandro Paredes. If we say we get a three or four game ban, ”the midfielder said.
Verratti also backed Herrera’s claim and PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino said: “We have to believe what they tell us, but the most important thing is that we are not in the final. I haven’t heard from the sideline but if there is anything maybe UEFA will investigate the situation. It is not an excuse to use. “