Pep: City must ‘raise their level’ to reach final

Pep Guardiola admits Manchester City will have to “raise their level” to reach a second successive Champions League final but refused to criticise his players after they missed a series of chances during the 4-3 win over Real Madrid.

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City will take an advantage to the Bernabeu next week but it could have been more comfortable had the home side been clinical in front of goal.

Guardiola says his team will head to Spain trying to win the second leg and set up a final in Paris against either Liverpool or Villarreal but insists it will be a tough task.

“It was a good game with both teams with an incredible amount of quality,” said Guardiola.

“The result could be better. You have to perform really well in two games. We performed really well in the first one and we have to do it in the second one. It is a good test to show our personality.

“We miss them [the chances] but we create them. We were there all the time. We were there. No complaints about the result, the performance, anything.

“I am so proud of the way we perform in front of the world. We did everything to win.”

City led 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 and despite having a number of opportunities to widen their advantage, were pegged back three times by Real Madrid.

Afterwards, manager Carlo Ancelotti criticised the way his team defended but said that if the issue is rectified in time for the second leg, the Spanish giants will go through.

“My feeling is that we started really poorly in the game, we were too soft, we let in two goals and from there the team showed what they have showed in the last periods,” said Ancelotti.

“It is quite simple to define this game; we did well with the ball, without the ball we need to be much better.

“In the second game I think if we defend better we will win but if we defend like today we will be out of the competition.”

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