Pep Guardiola cautioned his Manchester City players that Real Madrid are more than equipped for a Champions League fightback after a historic 2-1 last 16, first leg win for the English champions at the Santiago Bernabeu.
City struck twice in the last 12 minutes through Gabriel Jesus and a Kevin De Bruyne penalty to beat the 13-time European champions for the first time in their history.
Madrid will likewise be without skipper Sergio Ramos for the second leg after he was sent off late on for bringing down Jesus, however Guardiola is wary of Madrid’s history of comebacks in the Champions League.
“It’s simply the first part, it’s not three points. If one team can overcome this situation, for experience, for everything, it is this club, obviously it is a good result,” Guardiola revealed to BT Sport.
“I am so proud of course yet it is only the first step, we have another game, it isn’t finished. So be calm, enjoy it, enjoy the moment. Have a good dinner, good regeneration, on Sunday we have a final, keep going in the Premier League and prepare for the second game against Madrid.”
Guardiola again sprung a surprise on a big Champions League night with his team selection as Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Fernandinho were left on the bench.
Jesus was deployed in an unfamiliar role wide on the left, however Sterling’s introduction as a second half substitute pushed the Brazilian up front and swung the game in City’s favour.
After Jesus headed in De Bruyne’s cross, Sterling was chopped down by Dani Carvajal inside the penalty area.
“They press so high and the centre-backs can jump, we saw the space we believed was outside. Gabriel is so quick and Riyad (Mahrez) can do it,” included Guardiola.
“At last we knew for the last 20-30 minutes, Raheem is so quick as well. It was good.”