Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2023-24Getty Images

Pep Guardiola's Champions League trauma lives on! Man City did everything right against Real Madrid, but fell to familiar curse of agonising European exits

Pep Guardiola had insisted on Tuesday that he was not scared of Real Madrid, and given his previous record against them, he had no reason to be. But at the end of a draining 120 minutes in Manchester 24 hours later, plus an enthralling 90 in the Spanish capital a week prior, it was his side who were slumped on the floor, watching the familiar sight of Los Blancos celebrating another Champions League success after prevailing 4-3 on penalties.

There is a great paradox when it comes to Guardiola and Madrid. He has faced them 25 times as a coach, only playing Arsenal and Chelsea more often. He has won 13 of those games, drawing six and losing six. He has a better record against Madrid than when facing Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and even Borussia Monchengladbach.

But when it comes to Champions League knockout ties, honours are even after last night, Madrid knocking him out on three occasions, as many times as he has had the upper hand over them in Europe's top competition.

“I absolutely don’t have any regrets" said Guardiola, who thanked his players from the bottom of his heart for "doing everything offensively and defensively" against Madrid. But he must regret the fact that the Champions League, the competition that fascinates him so much, has been so cruel to him...

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