Why Erling Haaland & Kevin De Bruyne were substituted before Man City lost Champions League quarter-final tie to Real Madrid on penalties


Pep Guardiola has explained why Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne were substituted prior to Manchester City losing to Real Madrid on penalties.


The Blues’ defence of the Champions League crown is over, with a heart-breaking quarter-final defeat suffered at the hands of 14-time winners Real. A heavyweight encounter between Premier League and La Liga giants finished 4-4 on aggregate and required a shootout in order to find a winner.


Real held their nerve, with Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovavic missing from 12 yards for City, but Haaland and De Bruyne were unable to step up to the spot. That is because they had been replaced at the end of 90 minutes and deep into extra-time respectively.


Explaining why those decisions were made, with Manuel Akanji another to go off with 112 minutes on the clock, Guardiola told reporters: “Erling and Kevin asked me to go out. They could not continue, like Manu. They were playing amazing and I’m not a big fan of so many substitutions but Kevin, Erling and Manu asked me to go out because they could not continue.”


City’s bid for the double treble is over, with Guardiola looking to see his side turn collective focus back towards Premier League and FA Cup trophy bids. He added: “Now we rest, tomorrow we come back and on Friday we travel to London to play the game. We will see. Of course we will see how people will react and of course the recovery is easier when winning than losing but it is the semi-final of the FA Cup and we will try to compete as much as possible.”


City will be in FA Cup semi-final action against Chelsea on Saturday, with that game taking place at Wembley Stadium. Their next Premier League fixture will see a trip to Brighton taken in on April 25, with Guardiola’s side now sat two points clear at the top of that division.

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