Ilkay Gundogan doesn’t think Erling Haaland’s presence would’ve changed the outcome of last season’s Champions League semi-final defeat.
City dramatically conceded two goals in the last five minutes away to Real Madrid in the semi-final second leg, seeing them narrowly miss out on the Champions League final from an unfathomable position.
Real went on to win the final against Liverpool following their glistening comeback, but City were criticized for their performance as they fell apart and missed out on reaching consecutive Champions League finals.
Real Madrid won the second leg 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu, turning the game and tie on its head in injury time thanks to goals from Rodrygo and Karim Benzema, as they reached the final with a 6-5 win on aggregate.
City were criticized on the night for failing to put away clear chances after putting four past Real in the first leg and taking a 4-3 lead to Madrid, which they failed to make count.
Gundogan was used as a substitute that night and spoke to ITV about the disappointment of not making the final for a second year running, having lost the 2021 final to Chelsea.
Bernardo Silva transfer update (Football Terrace)
A clip from his interview has surfaced on Reddit and attracted plenty of attention, with him asked about whether or not Haaland – who signed this summer in a £51 million deal – would have helped City over the line had he been on the pitch.
Surprisingly, the German midfielder said no and explained his answer brilliantly, believing that City weren’t ‘mature enough’ in the closing stages of the game. Check out his response below.
WATCH: Gundogan’s verdict on City’s Champions League exit
Gundogan on “if Erling was in your team would you have beaten Real Madrid in the UCL Semi in May?” from soccer
“Honestly I would say no.” Admitted Gundogan, who initially chuckled at the interviewer’s hypothetical question, before adding: “Because I don’t think we’ve lost the game because we didn’t have a physical striker. No, that’s not what I believe.
“We didn’t play mature enough [in] the last minutes of the game. I don’t want to make it also about the semi-final but yeah, you know to concede two goals in the last, I don’t know, five minutes of the game is definitely something that shouldn’t happen.”
Gundogan’s answer was honest and incredibly refreshing. It rings true, too, as City were also criticized for conceding two late goals and appearing to capitulate towards the end of the game, which the 31-year-old admitted was unacceptable.
Fans have appreciated his honesty in the responses, too. Let’s check out the reaction from fans.
Despite being such rampant scorers, there were times when City appeared to look toothless in attack last season.
But with Gabriel Jesus out having been sold to Arsenal and Haaland and Julian Alvarez in, a new-look attack is taking shape at the Etihad Stadium. The Norwegian failed to score in the Community Shield defeat to Liverpool, but played well, while Alvarez was able to score coming on as a substitute.
Pep Guardiola’s next challenge is ensuring that Haaland and Julian Alvarez can eradicate those inconsistencies in attack, while also making sure that his side learns from the European shortcomings of the last two seasons.
News Now – Sports News