Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne ‘asked to be substituted’ before Man City penalty heartbreak

Haaland was substituted at the start of extra time due to a subpar performance, while De Bruyne was replaced in the 112th minute, despite scoring City’s only goal, as he requested to be taken off due to fatigue. Guardiola, visibly distraught after the defeat, explained that Akanji along with Haaland and De Bruyne had asked to be substituted due to fatigue and inability to continue playing. In the subsequent penalty shootout, Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic failed to convert their penalties. Guardiola refrained from publicly criticizing Silva’s attempt, acknowledging his trust in him and highlighting his overall performance.

Guardiola acknowledged the frustration of the defeat in his post-match press conference, but he praised the team for their collective effort despite the result. He expressed gratitude towards the players for their exceptional performance and commended their defensive display. Guardiola also congratulated Real Madrid and acknowledged that both teams performed at a high level. He expressed no regret, noting that his team had done everything they could and played exceptionally.

Despite the defeat, he affirmed that they followed their game plan and performed at their best, emphasizing the unpredictable nature of football.

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