Men's Team

Pep Guardiola: Reaching Champions League semi-finals 'so important'

Pep Guardiola: Reaching Champions League semi-finals 'so important'
Pep Guardiola says it was necessary for Manchester City to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League as he hailed the importance of the achievement.

City beat Borussia Dortmund 4-2 on aggregate to qualify for the last four after Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden scored in a 2-1 second leg win at Signal Iduna Park to set up a tie with Paris Saint-Germain.

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It is only the second time in the Club’s history that we have reached the semi-finals and it felt like a seminal moment for Guardiola’s side, who have suffered three consecutive last eight defeats, but held their nerve to fight back after Jude Bellingham’s brilliant opener.

Guardiola does not believe his players should be judged solely on their Champions League success, but he admits finally reaching the semi-finals is a significant moment for his team.

“For the club, it is so important,” he said at his post-match press conference.

“We cannot deny it. This competition is tough mentally. You are working for 10 months and you are judged for one game.

“For one goal you are out and the season is judged as a failure. It is not fair. We cannot judge what these guys have done in five years by going through in one competition.

“Saying that, psychologically, for all the players, for myself, for all the backroom staff, for the Chairman and the CEO, getting to the semi-finals is necessary.

“Of course, we want more. We are going to play PSG, the finalists last year against Bayern Munich. We know how tough they are. They knocked out Bayern Munich, the best team in the world right now.

“We will see what happens and how we arrive, but for the club and especially the players, it is a good moment for all of us.

“We cannot forget, in the five years we are together, we have gone out of the Champions League quarter-finals three times.

“The players suffer the same as the backroom staff and all the people working in the club.

“They are huge competitors and they want to make the next step and today they did.”

WATCH: Guardiola heaps praise on Foden

Under Guardiola, City have swept the board domestically, but success in Europe has proved elusive.

The quarter-final defeats to Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Lyon were agonising and a reminder of how difficult a competition the Champions League is.

Such is the challenge, Guardiola says making the last four is an indescribable achievement and he hopes the latest feat of progress will help the Club to develop on the European stage.

“In the Champions League getting to the last 16 is a big success,” he added.

“Going to the quarter-finals is a huge success. Getting to the semi finals, there are no words to express that.

“In Europe, there are incredible teams and to be able to get there is to be satisfied.

“This is just second time the club is in the semi-finals of the Champions League. Never reached the final.

“We are not mature enough in the Champions League, but the players learned a lot in the last seasons. We are making steps forward for the next years.

“We can say we can play semi-finals. We were there once and maybe we can do it again and today breaks this bridge mentally.

“For all the club it was a big relief and so important.”

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