Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has demanded his players “increase the standard” ahead of their next month’s Champions League clash against Real Madrid.
Guardiola’s comments came after they were denied a spot in the final of the FA Cup by Arsenal. Seeking to reach the FA Cup final for the second successive year, holders Manchester City were instead undone at Wembley by goals in either half from Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
However, Guardiola-led side still has much to play for this season as Manchester City hold a 2-1 advantage over newly crowned Spanish champions Real Madrid ahead of next month’s second-leg clash.
“We know the standards we need at this stage of competitions. I don’t have to tell them. They have to know it. They feel it, I think,” Guardiola said.
“Maybe we are learning, maybe now, we will see. The first half was not good, and we struggled to play at our level. It doesn’t take a genius to know we have to increase the standard for Madrid.”
Guardiola also admitted that his club was not up to the mark against Arsenal which resulted in the defeat.
“Sometimes it happens. It’s an incredible run but in football, you can lose. But the way we lost is what we are sad about. We didn’t make a good performance; we were not ready enough. If you don’t play for 90 minutes in a semi-final this can happen,” he said.