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Guardiola advised to take further action against De Bruyne and Haaland after both players ‘abandoned’ crucial game



Guardiola advised to take further action against De Bruyne and Haaland after both players 'abandoned' crucial game
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Pep Guardiola has been advised to take further action against Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland after both players ‘abandoned’ City’s crucial game.

The Manchester City boss has been told to drop both players after they “asked” to be brought off against Real Madrid.

City were dumped out of the Champions League on Wednesday night after being beaten 4-3 on penalties by Madrid. This was following the two sides playing out a 4-4 draw on aggregate.

The first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, has ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw.

In the return leg on Wednesday, Rodrygo netted an early opener to shock the Etihad. De Bruyne, however, was able grab a deserved equaliser with around 15 minutes remaining.


READ MORE: Manchester City at the risk of expulsion from the Premier League


The Premier League holders dominated the second leg but could not find a winner as the tie headed to penalties.

Luka Modric stepped up to take Real Madrid’s first penalty and Ederson kept out his effort. But the visitors scored their next four spot-kicks, while Man City duo Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic failed to convert. Their action sadly, condemned Guardiola’s side to a heartbreaking Champions League exit.

Haaland and De Bruyne were unable to take penalties as they were taken off before the end of extra-time. Manuel Akanji also could not make the shoot-out as he was forced out by injury. But his two teammates had “asked” to be taken off as they “could not continue”.


Guardiola told reporters: “They asked me to go out. They could not continue.”

He added: “I would have preferred to win, but congratulations to Real Madrid, they defended so deep with incredible solidarity, and we did everything.

“I don’t have any regrets about what we have done. Always we try to create more chances and concede less, because we believe that helps you to win and we did everything.

“We played exceptionally in all departments, and unfortunately, we could not win.”

Meanwhile, ex-Aston Villa forward Gabby Agbonlahor and presenter Alan Brazil had responded to Guardiola’s revelation during their appearance on talkSPORT on Thursday morning.

“Last night would’ve taken so much out of them City players. They looked shattered,” Agbonlahor said on talkSPORT.

“I mean we’re going to talk about it, Pep Guardiola came out after the game and said Haaland and De Bruyne asked to be taken off.”

Alan Brazil then interjected to say: “I’m astonished by that.”

Agbonlahor added: “They asked to be taken off. From fatigue. I think [it was] from niggles or fatigue maybe, but I don’t want to see them on Saturday then in the FA Cup.

“You’re asking to be taken off in the biggest game of the season when your team needs you. Especially Haaland, who for me was poor.

“And Kevin De Bruyne, 111 minutes, surely you just see it through? You’re one of the better penalty takers.”