Rodri takes a swipe at Real Madrid tactics as Manchester City bow out of the Champions League on penalties

Is he right?

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 18th April 2024

Manchester City star Rodri has taken aim at Real Madrid for their tactics in Wednesday night’s Champions League quarter-final as the Blues bowed out of the competition on penalties.

Rodri, who scored the winning goal in the UCL final to secure the treble for Man City last season, cut an understandably disappointed figure in the post-match interviews as his side ultimately conceded the first of their three trophies in a tense night at the Etihad Stadium.

Speaking to the media in the tunnel, the Spaniard was asked if he saw the game as simply being a case of two elite teams cancelling each other out and only being separated by small margins, to which he simply replied: “To be honest, today I saw only one team”.

The 27-year-old went on to note that Madrid’s gameplan was obviously to defend and “to [make us] suffer” but that they always knew how tough Carlo Ancelotti’s team would be to come up against in such a crucial tie like this.

Rodri criticises Madrid as he suggests only one team came to play.

Nevertheless, Rodri reiterated that he believes City “deserved to go through” based on their performance across the two games and given how much they tried to play during the home leg.


While Madrid were always going to try and frustrate their opposition and trying and stop Guardiola‘s squad from playing the more free-flowing, expansive game that so often suits them, they did have plenty of moments where the game looked more open and like a counter could come off at either end.

Ultimately, though, an early goal for the visitors from Rodrygo was enough to give Madrid breathing room for the majority of the game and even after Kevin De Bruyne’s explosive equaliser – which saw the stadium erupt as it looked like they might go on to win it – they still managed to eke out extra time.


As for Pep himself, he was predictably cautious of getting drawn into any big exclamations and made sure to hold back, simply reiterating Rodri’s sentiment that the performance was “outstanding” and that given stats like 32 shots attempted (a third of those on target), he could not question their commitment.

While Rodri had a sly dig at Madrid, Pep chose to focus only on his players instead.

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The admittedly ridiculous-sounding ‘Treble-Treble’ might now be off the table but with two trophies still left to defend and another potential record break on the cards if they manage to win a fourth Premier League in a row, there’s still more than enough glory to play for.

City’s next big fixture is the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea this Saturday as rivals Manchester United take on Coventry City in the other draw on Sunday.


Safe to say it’s looking very much like we could get back-to-back Manchester derby FA Cup finals.

As for the title race, the Blues have a slim two-point cushion at the top of the table but with Arsenal and Liverpool slipping up last weekend, it could prove to be the key slip-up they needed to now set the tone and finish the season strong as they often do. It’s going to be a blockbuster few weeks.

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Featured Images — Sky Sports/Man City (via Instagram)