Didi Hamann says Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola “suffocates” his teams after Real Madrid produced a remarkable late comeback on Wednesday night.
City, 4-3 up from the first leg, looked to be cruising when Riyad Mahrez’s 73rd-minute goal put them ahead on the night. But a quick-fire double from Rodrygo in the 90th and 91st minutes drew the sides level on aggregate in the Champions League semi-final, second leg.
And Karim Benzema then stepped up to win it for Madrid in extra-time from the penalty spot after Ruben Dias had fouled him in the box.
Real’s remarkable comeback sets them up with Liverpool in a repeat of the 2018 Champions League final, which Real won 3-1 in Kyiv.
Hamann slammed City for an ineffective final 15 minutes.
“Never seen a team as helpless as City in last 15 minutes. Usually you always get one more chance they never,” said Hamann.
It was an outcome that not many have been able to explain, given how Man City performed in the game. They had rarely seen Madrid anywhere near their goal until sub Rodrygo flicked in at the near post.
Guardiola has asked for time to “process” the result.
“It is tough for us, I cannot deny,” Guardiola said of Wednesday’s loss.
“We were so close to the Champions League final. Now we need to process that and come back, with our people at home and in the last four games we have.
“We need time now, one or two days, but we will rise. We have to do it (and) with our people (we will).
“The players gave everything. We were so close and we could not do it.”
But former Liverpool midfielder Hamann has offered an explanation for the late capitulation.
“If you give players responsibility they act responsible,” tweeted the German. “If you try to play the game for them they won’t. Guardiola suffocates teams and players to make their own decisions. Compare that to [Carlo] Ancelotti or [Jurgen] Klopp’s teams.”
If you give players responsibility they act responsible. If you try to play the game for them they won’t. Guardiola suffocates teams and players to make their own decisions. Compare that to Ancelottis or Klopps teams https://t.co/xhNvBlx42a
— Didi Hamann…