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Pep Guardiola: ‘Incredibly happy’ with performance, result vs Real Madrid

Relive the best shots and stops from Matchweek 34 of the 2021-22 Premier League season.

Manchester City and Real Madrid staged a match for the ages on Tuesday, and the good thing about City’s 4-3 win at the Etihad Stadium in a UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg is that there’s at least 90 more minutes where that came from.

And while there might’ve been some question about how Pep Guardiola would react to City seeing 2-0, 3-1, and 4-2 leads turn into a one-goal win, he laid to rest any regrets with a glowing review.

[ MORE: Three things we learned ]

“I don’t have one complaint about the result, about the performance, anything — I’m incredibly happy with how they performed in front of the world,” Guardiola said. “We did everything to win, with courage, without the ball, and now we recover and hopefully arrive right well for the game in Leeds and in Madrid.”

Guardiola did say City might need to find another level to make its advantage hold up in Madrid -- something that may only require better finishing, as City produced six huge chances in the win -- but that Real’s dangerous players mean three goals in a game can happen... and they can happen quickly.

“At the end maybe the chances we create we have to convert. I want to convince my players that we won the game and heads up. We were one up but even two or three or four you have to perform. They have the ability to score three goals in 10 minutes. It is a good test for ourselves.”

Guardiola, for the most part, usually reads the game the same way neutrals do -- aside from refereeing decisions -- and he’s not wrong in that City was dominant on Tuesday. Their xG conceded figure was 1.66, but Real found three goals. It happens that way sometimes and City can also find hope in the fact that their machine doesn’t seem to be swayed by being home or away.

When you consider that he was without his top-choice fullbacks in suspended Joao Cancelo and injured Kyle Walker, and that he had to plug Fernandinho at right back when deputy John Stones was hurt, why wouldn’t he be thrilled?