Wednesday. 27.09.2023

Pep Guardiola promised Manchester City will bounce back from their Champions League heartache at the Bernabeu Stadium.

City were within moments of booking a return to the final on Wednesday night as they held a 1-0 lead – and a 5-3 aggregate advantage – over Real Madrid in an absorbing semi-final second leg.

Yet the Premier League leaders’ caved in dramatic fashion as Rodrygo struck twice with 90 minutes on the clock to send the tie into extra-time.

With City still reeling, Karim Benzema then put Real ahead for the first time over the two legs from the penalty spot.

The Spanish giants held on for a memorable 3-1 success on the night and 6-5 on aggregate, to progress to a final date with Liverpool in Paris.

City must now quickly pick themselves up from this shattering loss as the Premier League title race resumes at the weekend.

Guardiola’s side, who host Newcastle on Sunday, have no room for error, with Liverpool trailing them by just a point with four games remaining.

'We need time now'

The City manager said: “We need time now, one or two days, but we will rise. We have to do it (and) with our people (we will).

“The players gave everything. We were so close and we could not do it.”

Guardiola felt Real’s dramatic late recovery came from nowhere.

He said: “There is a long history in sport of this kind of situation happening when you arrive at the end, 10 or 15 minutes left, and you are absolutely being dominated with the opponent creating a lot of problems. But that didn’t happen.

“Then they found it, and a minute later another one. With their people supporting it was difficult and after the penalty made the difference.”

Guardiola insists Manchester City ‘will rise’ after Real Madrid shock