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Pep Guardiola: 'We deserved to overcome Real Madrid'

Pep Guardiola: 'We deserved to overcome Real Madrid'
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Gabriel Jesus made a goal for Raheem Sterling and added the second.

Pep Guardiola was beaming after Manchester City pulled off a famous 2-1 victory over Real Madrid to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

Gabriel Jesus made a goal for Raheem Sterling and added the second at the Etihad Stadium as City claimed a repeat of their first-leg success in the last-16 tie to progress 4-2 on aggregate.

The Premier League side now progress to a last-eight tournament in Lisbon and will take on Lyon a week on Saturday.

Guardiola said: "I am more than satisfied, of course, especially for the players to go to Portugal and try to make the next step. We know exactly which team we beat, so we are incredibly satisfied.

"In the first half we tried to play and attack but it was not possible with the quality from the opponents.

"In the second half it helped to play with wingers wider. We showed to opponents what we wanted to do and we created enough chances.

"I think it is more than deserved to be in the next stage."

Guardiola singled out Jesus for particular praise. The Brazilian has had to shoulder the burden of leading the attack in the absence of injured top scorer Sergio Aguero.

He made two telling contributions as City came from behind in the Bernabeu in February and he again made the difference, forcing and taking advantage of two costly errors from Raphael Varane for the goals.

Guardiola said: "This competition punishes you (for mistakes). We know that from our experience but Gabriel made his contribution to this. He is the best guy for this.

"Gabriel was man of these two games. He was so decisive for us.

"Gabriel helps us with more than the goals but for a striker it's important to score – they have to score, and he showed it twice against the king of this competition.

"He's said, 'Here I am and I can win games by myself'."

Guardiola also hailed the resilience of his side, who were not fazed as Real fought back with an equaliser from Karim Benzema.

He said: "The important thing is we didn't make mistakes. In this competition for mistakes they punish you a lot and we were incredible behind."

Real coach Zinedine Zidane, who led the Spanish giants to three successive Champions League titles from 2016-18, refused to criticise Varane or make excuses.

The Frenchman felt his side could still reflect on a memorable season, which saw them eclipse Barcelona to reclaim the LaLiga crown.

Zidane said: "He (Varane) made a couple of errors unfortunately but there is nothing to reprimand him for.

"We can't be happy, obviously. We have lost the game and we are out.

"But this is football, we lost this game a to good side and you have to accept it. We had our chances in the game but didn't take them.

"At the end of the day 95 per cent of what we have achieved this season has been excellent. There are no excuses. We have to congratulate the opponent."

Zidane returned to the club for a second spell as manager last year and seems happy to continue.

He said: "I am here. I am the Real Madrid manager until something happens out of the ordinary."

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola reacts alongside Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane on February 26, 2020
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