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City can’t expect to dominate Real Madrid again says Guardiola

champions league manchester city training
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola with Erling Haaland during training

Manchester City should not expect a repeat of their dominant win over Real Madrid last season when they meet in the Champions League quarter-finals, manager Pep Guardiola said on Monday.

Holders City beat visitors Real 4-0 last May to win their semi-final tie 5-1 on aggregate, but Guardiola said Carlo Ancelotti’s team would present a different challenge as they prepare for Tuesday’s first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“It’s difficult. Because beating Real Madrid two times the same way is impossible … because they learn. They have pride,” Guardiola told reporters.

“Expect different games in the same game. They will be able to press high, so aggressive. They are so dangerous … everybody knows the strength or the transitions that they have.

“At the same time, you can’t come here just to control the game. You have to try to hurt them, to punch them, to let them feel we are here to score a goal … we feel strong. We are incredibly confident.”

Midfielder Rodri echoed his manager’s sentiments, while hoping that the experience City gained from last season’s victory would help them stay composed under pressure.

“We know we’re going to face a different Real Madrid … they play different. They control more of the game … we have to adapt ourselves,” he said.

“We are a more mature team, we have experience of winning this competition and we came here with a different mentality and composure. I wish and hope the experience of winning the tournaments helps us do things right tomorrow.”

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