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Pep: We gave it our all

The manager watches on from the touchline.

The manager watches on from the touchline.

Pep Guardiola says his side can have no regrets despite exiting the Champions League with a 5-1 aggregate defeat to Liverpool.

The Blues had a mountain to climb after a 3-0 defeat in the first-leg at Anfield but got off to the perfect start at the Etihad when Gabriel Jesus fired home after just two minutes.

City might have doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time had Leroy Sané’s strike not been chalked off controversially for offside, but Liverpool scored twice in 20 second-half minutes to end City’s European campaign at the quarter-final stage.

And the manager believes that his side could not have done much more to get back into the tie with an impressive first half showing.

“I don’t have regrets,” Pep said.

READ: Brave Blues exit Europe

“We started really well at Anfield but we conceded two fast goals and today in the first half we did everything right, we took a lot of risks with three at the back and lots of players in front.

“We created chances, but of course it’s not easy because they had ten players behind. We controlled perfectly their counter attack apart from conceding the last action from [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain.

“To recover three goals is not easy. We scored one but weren’t able to score more. We were beaten by an exceptional team.

“Last season it was the round of 16, this season it’s the quarter finals, hopefully next season we can go to the semi-finals.”

Elimination from the Champions League comes after a 3-2 defeat against Manchester United, but Guardiola insists that our incredible record over the course of the season should not be overshadowed by a seven-day blip.

 

FORWARD THINKING: City made the perfect start with an early Gabriel Jesus goal.

 

“We cannot compare what we’ve done in the Premier League when we are here,” he explained.

“We would have liked to win the Premier League in the last game [against Manchester United] and it was our dream to get through to the semi-finals.

“But we have to reflect and think what we can do better next season.

“Over the course of 11 months you have ups and downs. I was today with my chairman. I saw the body language of my players. You won’t find a team who can keep the same momentum, the same rhythm, the same pace with this amount of games. It’s almost impossible.

“We lost against Liverpool, against United and against Liverpool. I have to analyse what we’ve done in 10 months and I think it’s quite good.”

City will now focus on securing the Premier League, with the Blues requiring six points to confirm the title. Guardiola and his side travel to Tottenham on Saturday before the visit of Swansea and another trip to the capital to face West Ham.

And the manager says his side will not dwell on the European exit for long.

“Now it’s time to recover,” said Pep.

“After Tottenham we have a long week to Swansea then a long week to West Ham where we can win the two games needed for winning the most important competition.

“The Premier League shows how good you are every three days.”

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