PORTO, Portugal – Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola said their season remained outstanding despite the campaign ending on disappointment with a 1-0 loss to Chelsea in the Champions League final on Saturday.
City have easily won a fifth Premier League title in the past 10 years this season, Guardiola’s third national crown since joining the club, but the Champions League remains elusive following Kai Havertz’s game-winning goal for Chelsea.
It was City’s first appearance in the final of the elite European club competition, but they ultimately fell short, but Guardiola was still happy with his team’s work this quarter.
“I would like to say it was an exceptional season for us,” said the Spaniard. “It was a dream for us to be here, unfortunately we couldn’t win.
“For most of us at this club, this is the first time here, but we are working to come back someday.
“It has been a difficult season in the pandemic, but we are learning lessons for the future. I have incredible respect for the players, they gave everything, but we will come back stronger. I want to congratulate them on their exceptional season.
Guardiola has won two Champions League titles as a coach, both with Barcelona, but none since 2011, and has again been unable to bring City their first European Cup.
City, who have won the League Cup as well as the Premier League title, have been relentless at times this season but on their big night they could only muster one shot on target the entire game.
“It was a close game and we had a few chances, but against Chelsea’s defensive structure it’s not easy,” Guardiola said.
“We struggled with the long balls and the second balls. At that point you need inspiration and quality, there were three or four moments that were close but didn’t happen.
“We played in the Champions League final, we won the Premier League again and played well all season. Now I want to go home with my family that I haven’t seen in a long time, take a break and start working on how to approach next season.
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