Real Madrid conceded that they were no match for Manchester City in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday.
The Spanish side had drawn 1-1 with City at home in the first leg, but were thrashed 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium by a dominant City performance. City will face Inter Milan in the final in Istanbul after eliminating the 13-time European champions.
Real looked clueless and uninspired throughout the game, even when they had more possession in the second half. Defender Dani Carvajal acknowledged that his team was overwhelmed by City’s pressure and intensity.
City equaled Real’s worst away defeat in the Champions League history, and Carvajal said: “We faced a rival who were superior to us in this game – they practically overpowered us.
“We have to admit that City were better, we were missing something. It wasn’t attitude we were missing but we let them push us back too much. In the second half, we had our best moments. We knew that City were very strong at home but after the first leg, we had the feeling that we could do better here – better on the ball. We are Madrid; we’ll bounce back stronger and we’ll work hard next season to return to this stage of the tournament.”
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who made two brilliant saves at 0-0 and another before City’s third, also lamented how City imposed their game, preventing Real from executing any kind of game plan.
He explained: “I don’t think the way City started was a surprise to us, we expected a lot of pressure: that they wouldn’t let us play out with the ball easily. We expected to be pressed back into our own penalty area.
“The big problem was that we didn’t manage to create our own attacking play, and when we didn’t create chances, City felt more and more comfortable. They scored, that felt like a blow, and Toni [Kroos] hit the bar with his shot. At half-time, we were convinced we could turn the game around, but we weren’t sharp and accurate with the passes, and that cost us.
“We needed to win more second balls. We needed to complete more of our simple passes. When you’re chasing after the ball and City are in control, it’s not easy. They consistently had six, seven, even eight players high up the pitch. We didn’t break through that the way we can. Losing like this hurts more. You can lose 2-1 or 1-0, but this is a big defeat to swallow. It’s time to stay proud of our path to this stage. City are having a great year domestically too. If we weren’t at 100 per cent, then it was always going to be difficult.”
Real Madrid Vice-President Emilio Butragueño added: “The first thing to say is congratulations to Manchester City. They were better than us and deserve to go through to the final.”