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Sport 'I cannot believe it!' - Pep Guardiola in awe of Dortmund's teenage star Jude Bellingham

04:05  15 april  2021
04:05  15 april  2021 Source:   sportingnews.com

Pep Guardiola opens war of words with UEFA for 'killing the players'

  Pep Guardiola opens war of words with UEFA for 'killing the players' In a season that is being played in a condensed period due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, City are still active in four competitions and face an extremely busy conclusion to the campaign. Guardiola has frequently rotated his side, but some players have featured prominently, with Rodri, for instance, having already made 42 appearances this season.

For Guardiola it sets up a first Champions League semi-final in his tenure with City as the Spaniard eyes the chance to win the competition for the first time since the second of his triumphs with Barcelona back in 2011. Ultimately it was a game illuminated by the brilliance of young Englishmen on both sides, as 17-year-old Dortmund starlet Jude Bellingham gave the hosts hope before City’ s 20-year-old maestro Foden helped snuff it out.

Despite an early scare against Dortmund after Jude Bellingham scored, Pep Guardiola and his City players got over their hoodoo and Owen Hargreaves believes they can now go all the way. It is the first time in Guardiola ' s reign that City have progressed to the semi-final stages. City now face the prospect of a double-header against Mauricio Pochettino' s Paris Saint-Germain for a spot in the final. '(Champions League) has been an issue for City,' Hargreaves added. 'This is a hurdle and they got over it and they deserve a lot of praise.

Pep Guardiola reached the Champions League semi-finals for the first time as the Manchester City manager but he took time out to heap praise on Borussia Dortmund's young star Jude Bellingham.

City were heading out of Europe on away goals after the 17-year-old scored in the 15th minute, before strikes from Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden saw the Premier League leaders win 2-1 on the night and 4-2 on aggregate.

But the former Birmingham City midfielder's goal saw him become the youngest English player to score in the Champions League and second youngest player ever to score in the quarter-finals behind former Barcelona star Bojan Krkic.

IAN LADYMAN: Manchester City should conquer Borussia Dortmund

  IAN LADYMAN: Manchester City should conquer Borussia Dortmund IAN LADYMAN: Drawing 1-1 with Lyon with 11 minutes of their quarter-final remaining, City conceded two quick goals. They were bad ones too. In between, Raheem Sterling missed a sitter. From right in it to categorically and conclusively dumped out of it. All in the blink of an eye. Lyon were the seventh best team in France last season. It was a game City should not have lost and coach Pep Guardiola admitted yesterday that he took a while to get over it. © Provided by Daily Mail Pep Guardiola knows Man City and the Champions League have not been a good fit recently 'It stayed in my head for weeks,' said Guardiola.

Pep Guardiola has lavished praise on his Manchester City stars after they overcame Dortmund . ' It 's incredible what we've done,' Guardiola added. 'Psychologically, for all of us, it was necessary to get past this stage. Rio Ferdinand in awe of Mehdi Taremi's 'ridiculous' overhead kick after Porto striker dispatched All-action Jude Bellingham showed he has the LOT in Dortmund ' s defeat by Man City

Pep Guardiola won the Champions League with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011. He has been unable to repeat the feat with Bayern Munich or Manchester City. Guardiola said he was lucky to work with players like Lionel Messi and Xavi. Despite that success and a Carabao Cup win last year, the Catalan has been unable to make it past the quarter-finals of the Champions League. But he remains focused on success in Europe and believes City can compete for the trophy this year. "What do you say to people who claim you've not won the Champions League since Barcelona because you don't

What's been said

"I cannot believe it, maybe he's a liar!" Guardiola said when asked about Bellingham's performances over the two legs. "He's so good for 17-years-old, he's a fantastic player.

"There was one moment when he didn't get the ball from central defenders, how he shouts and demands that ball to him at 17 means a lot.

"I spoke with his manager, Edin [Terzic], and he told me what you see in these two games is like every training session."

The bigger picture

England manager Gareth Southgate might even be an even happier coach than Guardiola after the second leg in Germany.

Bellingham's international team-mate Foden was again outstanding and rounded off an impressive performance by smashing in the winner from the edge of the box.

The 20-year-old headed straight to Guardiola after his strike and the pair were surrounded by the first team after a goal that would see the City boss reach the last-four for the first time with the club.

"You have the feeling that he is a guy who never hides, he always creates something," Guardiola added.

"He scored two important goals, the second goal in the Etihad and today helped us to be in the semi-final.

"He grew up. In the quarter-final of the Champions League, he was the important player to go through to play against Paris St-Germain."

Chelsea 'plotting £100m move for Borussia Dortmund star Bellingham' .
The 17-year-old midfielder has shone at Dortmund during his first season at the club after joining in a £25million deal, and has emerged as one of the most sought-after youngsters in Europe.The 17-year-old midfielder has shone at Dortmund during his first season at the club after joining in a £25million deal from Birmingham, and has emerged as one of the most sought-after youngsters in Europe after his performances on the biggest stage.

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