Football gives rise to no shortage of incredible situations. If you had told a Manchester City fan in 2007 that beating Real Madrid 4-3 at home would leave most fans, players and staff frustrated, it would have been laughable.
Yet here we are. Despite leading 2-0 after just 11 minutes and regaining that advantage twice more, Manchester City will travel to Real Madrid just a single goal to the good. Given Real Madrid’s incredible recent history of comebacks, the concern is understandable.
Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva expressed some irritation with the missed chances, while Carlo Ancelotti was equally concerned by Real Madrid’s defending. Pep Guardiola was keen to tell the press that he was pleased with a ‘fantastic performance’, but that rang a little hollow.
At the very least he was while speaking to the English media. During his flash interview with Spanish broadcaster Movistar+, Guardiola was almost monosyllabic in his responses.
Those responses were carried by Diario AS, where Guardiola only once answered one of the eight questions put to him with more than a phrase or two. Even that answer was dry, after being asked what was missing for a bigger lead.
“We gave everything. We played a good game against a team we all know already. In a week we will see each other in Madrid.”
Although he appeared frustrated in his English interview, the reasons for his coldness may run deeper. During his time in Barcelona, relations between the Catalan and the press soured significantly – particularly the Madrid press. It may well be that his treatment in Spain still lingers in his mind.