Pep Guardiola is well aware he has Real Madrid’s own deficiencies to thank after Man City beat Los Blancos to book their place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Goals from Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus either side of a Karim Benzema header secured City a 2-1 win at the Etihad in the second leg of their round-of-16 encounter, which secured Guardiola’s side a last-eight clash vs Lyon.
But both goals were direct results of Real Madrid errors in defence; Raphael Varane conceding possession inside his own area for the first, and then heading directly into Jesus’ path as he finished past Thibaut Courtois for the second.
France centre-back Varane came out after the match and accepted the blame for the defeat in an interview with Spanish TV.
“I want to show my face as this defeat is mine,” he said. “I take my responsibility. We had prepared well, but mistakes are paid for at this level, very dearly. I cannot explain the mistakes, it can happen in football, a difficult night for me.”
And Guardiola was willing to accept his players clearly benefited from some huge Los Blancos mistakes.
“When you play against Real Madrid, you realise how good they are,” the Catalan told BT Sport.
“We created a lot of chances and we scored two goals with mistakes from them. Especially in the second half, in the first half we suffered with the humidity.
“In the second half they didn’t have much and we created a lot. We were in possession, and it’s not easy because they play man to man in the build up. You cannot build up, you lose more balls than usual.
“But the players made an incredible effort, all of them.”
Goalscorers Sterling and Jesus were also quizzed on their efforts at the Etihad.
“It’s a competition we always want to do well in,” began Sterling. “We play our football but the most important thing is to run our socks off and the result will follow.
“We know how good they are, but we know how good we are.
“We were on the front foot. You know – aggression. We were right on them, we’ve done that. We got pressing and we got two goals from that.
“With the players that we’ve got, there’s no inferiority. We played really well.
“They’ve got some great players but with the energy, the performance we showed, we were brilliant tonight.”
Jesus added: “That was so important to us.
“They’re a top club, Real Madrid, the best club in this competition so far. This is massive.
“I think it’s all about believing. Believe in their mistakes, because we are humans. We can make a mistake, so believe – always.
“And I press, I press a lot. That is one of my powers, press all the time and help my team. I was happy I scored.”