Tuesday, May 28News That Matters

Rodri aims bitter swipe at Real Madrid after Champions League exit

Rodri expressed his surprise at Real Madrid’s defensive tactics, which ultimately led to Manchester City’s exit from the Champions League.

Despite being the reigning champions and tipped for a historic ‘double treble’, City’s aspirations were dashed in the quarter-finals, as they fell to Real Madrid in a penalty shootout.

The tie concluded with a 1-1 draw at the Etihad, following a 3-3 stalemate in Spain, with an initial goal from Rodrygo being offset by a late equalizer from Kevin De Bruyne.

Despite their status as Premier League frontrunners, Manchester City’s Champions League journey came to an abrupt halt when Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic failed to convert their penalties, resulting in a 4-3 shootout victory for Real Madrid.

Manchester City had the upper hand in the second leg, controlling 68% of the possession and launching 33 shots, with nine hitting the mark. In contrast, Real Madrid managed just eight attempts, three of which were on target.

‘To be honest, I’ve only seen one team today,’ City defensive midfielder Rodri – in a bitter mood – told reporters post-match.

‘We know how tough beating Madrid is, but in my opinion we should have gone through. In the end this is football.

‘We knew the game was going to be long for them, but we didn’t expect that they were going to be so, so far deep [in their half].

‘It is difficult to analyse. We had the feeling that penalties were more convenient for them. It was their turn [to progress] again.

‘In the penalties, luck was on Madrid’s side, as usual. Real Madrid have these things, they can win a game in which they barely left their own box.

‘We know what we do and we know that this competition does not understand merits, it understands who puts the ball in the back of the net.

‘Their only shot on target they had went in, and we were trailing for most of the game. We have had chances and if we had been more clinical, we would have won the game.

‘In the end this is football. When you have given everything you have no regrets. Now it’s time to lift the boys up and congratulate Real Madrid.’

Rodri and his Manchester City teammates must quickly shake off their disappointment, as they still have the Premier League crown and the FA Cup within reach.

This Saturday, they’re set to face Chelsea at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-finals, followed by a trip to Brighton the following Thursday, where they’ll be looking to widen their lead by two points in the league standings.

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