Silva thinks Man City ‘going through’ against Real Madrid
MUNICH — Bernardo Silva said Manchester City are looking to make amends for last season’s semifinal defeat to Real Madrid when the two teams meet again in the final four of the Champions League.
Manchester City drew 1-1 with Bayern Munich on Wednesday night at the Allianz Arena, a result that saw them go through 4-1 on aggregate. That match means City have teed up a rematch of one of last season’s semifinals — a tie the Spanish side won 6-5 on aggregate after a dramatic second-leg comeback.
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Silva was asked postmatch by BT Sport whether he’s hopeful of getting revenge against Real Madrid, and he answered: “Hopefully yes! We will go for it definitely. We always go for it, but we feel the team is very, very confident at the minute. I think we are going through.”
Pep Guardiola will first try to get his team ready for Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal with Sheffield United before then facing Arsenal in Manchester on April 26 in a crucial Premier League matchup. But he will also be planning for the semifinal against Real Madrid and he praised his team as they booked a spot in the final four for the third season running.
“I am so happy to be three in a row semifinals,” Guardiola said. “The result 4-1 did not show what the games were like. I could not expect differently — for how good Bayern Munich are [with their] physicality, ideas. I am impressed when I play against them.”
Erling Haaland scored City’s goal in the second half to secure the tie, but he missed a first-half penalty and Guardiola said the prolific young striker will “learn” from the experience as there was a two-minute gap between the penalty being awarded and his blasting it over the bar.
The former Borussia Dortmund star will be key when City face Real Madrid in the final four and Guardiola said the Spanish champions are the benchmark when it comes to winning the competition.
“All the clubs around the world have this feeling that to win the competition you have to beat Real,” Guardiola said.
The result means Bayern depart the Champions League at the quarterfinal stage for the third season running. It was Thomas Tuchel’s sixth game in charge of the German champions after he replaced Julian Nagelsmann in March.
Tuchel was an animated presence on the touchline and was eventually dismissed by the referee with two yellow cards. He said he was given the yellows for “complaining” but he bemoaned the performance of the referee and the condition of the Allianz Arena pitch.
“Two things couldn’t keep up with the level: the pitch wasn’t in a good condition and also the referee unfortunately was grade E,” Tuchel said.
Bayern now face Mainz on Saturday as they look to continue their push for an 11th straight Bundesliga title.
“We can play at this level, but we can also play at a different level, which we unfortunately saw recently,” Tuchel said. “Today we played at a high level, last Saturday [against Hoffenheim] we did not, and this coming Saturday we have to fight an extra battle.
“The willingness that we need to show, improve and support the team positively and to show this greed and hunger to reach our targets that we have here at FC Bayern. This is what you agree when you sign for this club — but we need more support.
“I think everybody gives their best, it might not seem like that — but I believe with more confidence and calmness we’ll get there to show some consistency. It takes time, but we want to be ready for Saturday and show our character on the pitch.”