Man City vs Real Madrid: Pep Guardiola admits his side love pressure

  • Pep Guardiola was 'surprised' with Real Madrid's tactics in the first leg of their quarter-final
  • Manchester City are set to face Madrid again on Wednesday
  • The first leg ended in a 3-3 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu
Guardiola was 'shocked' after Real Madrid clash
Guardiola was 'shocked' after Real Madrid clash / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Pep Guardiola admits his side love playing under pressure as they look to overcome Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.

City won their maiden Champions League title last season thanks to Rodri's goal in the final against Inter, completing a historic treble that also saw them win the Premier League and lift the FA Cup for the second time under Guardiola.

The Spaniard is bidding to become the first manager to guide an English side to back-to-back trebles, and they have a tremendous chance of doing so after this past weekend's results in the Premier League.

First though, City will need to overcome 14-time winners Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium in the second leg of their quarter-final tie having played out a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu, and there's no doubt in Guardiola's mind that his players have the ability to cope with expectation.

"They surprised us [in the first leg] with positions of players and we have to take a look," Guardiola said ahead of the game. "Carlo [Ancelotti], with his experience, can do something differently and we have to be prepared. But at the same time, try to impose and put pressure.

Erling Haaland, Antonio Rudiger
City were forced to settle for a 3-3 draw in Madrid / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

“They [City's players] like the pressure," Guardiola said of his players' mentality. "They like it when you are dead or alive. That doesn’t mean we are going to do it but I am pretty sure we will be there until the end because I know them, I see their faces in the meetings before games and how they prepare.

On whether that means City, who now top the Premier League table after defeats for Arsenal and Liverpool, will become domestic champions again, he added: "No, no. I am not saying that. But we will compete, that is for sure.”

City's latest clash with Madrid is the latest chapter in a gripping rivalry that has dominated Champions League competition for the past couple of seasons. During 2021/22, the Spaniards came out on top of a back and forth semi-final clash before City exerted their revenge last season, thrashing Ancelotti's side 4-0 in front of their home support.

Goals from Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Josko Gvardiol have City in a strong position once more, but they'll know not to underestimate a Madrid side capable of beating any team home or away.