Manchester City boss Pep Guadiola said they had an exceptional season despite going down to Chelsea in the Champions League final on Saturday.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said they had an exceptional season despite going down to Chelsea in the Champions League final on Saturday. Guardiola lead City to their third Premier League title in five years and also won the League Cup in April. The Abu Dhabi funded team reached their maiden Champions League final after beating last year’s finalists PSG in the semi-finals. But, failed to win their first European title despite going into the final as the better team on paper.
The Champions League trophy remained elusive for the blue half of Manchester after Kai Havertz’ 42nd minute strike earned Chelsea their second Champions League title.
“I would like to say it was an exceptional season for us,” said the Spaniard. “It was a dream for us to be here, unfortunately we could not win.
“For most of us in this club it is the first time here, but we work to come back one day.
“It was a tough season in the pandemic, but we learn from this for the future. I have incredible respect for the players, they gave everything, but we will come back stronger. I want to congratulate them for their exceptional season.”
The Spanish coach won the Champions League twice as a manager with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011. But, since then he has faltered in the knockout stages. It was his first appearance in the final since 2011. Cityzens dominated the English Premier League and won the trophy with a 12 point lead over second placed Manchester United.
In the final, City managed to register only a solitary shot on target.
“It was a tight game and we had some chances, but against the defensive structure of Chelsea it is not easy,” Guardiola said.
“We struggled with long balls and second balls. In that moment you need the inspiration and quality, there were three or four moments that were close but didn’t arrive.
“We played in the Champions League final, we won the Premier League again and competed well all season. Now, I want to go home with my family I have not seen for a long time, take a break, and start working on how to approach next season.”
The 50-year-old manager’s tactics in the final were questionable as he did not include a defensive midfielder in the starting-XI. City’s all-attacking midfield line up looked confused and made it easy for Chelsea to control the game.