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Notícias Man City stars who'd have taken penalties vs Real Madrid 'asked to be taken off'

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Man City stars who'd have taken penalties vs Real Madrid 'asked to be taken off'

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Manchester City were dumped out of the Champions League by Real Madrid on Wednesday night after a thrilling quarter-final second leg at the Etihad Stadium

Manchester City duo Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne requested to be substituted off before their penalty shootout heartbreak against Real Madrid, admitted Pep Guardiola.

Antonio Rudiger became the hero as he landed the winning penalty that bagged the Spanish side a spot in the Champions League semi-finals. Haaland was subbed at the beginning of extra time following an underwhelming performance, whilst De Bruyne, who scored the sole goal for City, was replaced by Mateo Kovacic at 112 minutes.

The visibly saddened City manager, Guardiola, shed light on the situation post-match, explaining that Haaland, De Bruyne and Akanji asked to be replaced due to tiredness.

"Manu, Erling and Kevin asked me to go out," expressed the distraught City boss after Rudiger's successful kick saw them bow out during the quarter-final stage. "They couldn't continue."

Bernardo Silva, among others from City's squad, missed the mark from 12 yards in the tense shootout, with Kovacic also watching his attempt get saved by Real Madrid stopper Andriy Lunin. Although Silva's attempt has been dubbed the 'worst penalty ever', Guardiola refrained from publicly criticising him, insisting: "He said he wanted to take one and he is a reliable player, but what a game he had."

The gaffer of Manchester City, who steered the team to their first-ever Champions League glory last season, appeared visibly irked during his post-match media chat, yet he didn't hold back in praising his squad for their performance despite not getting the win, reports the Express.

"I have to say thank you to these players from deep in my heart because the way they played," he expressed. "Football is about winning and we didn't do enough, yet we were exceptional."

"Sometimes you can win on penalties and sometimes you cannot, but in the game we did not convert the chances that we had, even though we defended really well. Everyone performed at a high level. We said we would have to be at our best to play Real Madrid and they were."

"I would have preferred to have won but congratulations to Real Madrid. We did everything so I have absolutely no regret about anything we have done. I always say as a manager, it is about scoring more and conceding less and we did everything. We played exceptional but unfortunately we could not win, so it is what it is."

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