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Pep Guardiola: 'Antonio Mateu Lahoz is a special guy'

12 April 2018

Salah's equaliser to Gabriel Jesus' opener was absolutely crucial because it all but killed off any hopes of an unlikely City comeback - the importance of that goal didn't go unappreciated, none so more than Sky Sports' Phil Thompson.

City have now lost their last three matches - twice against Liverpool and the defeat to Manchester United in the derby - but Guardiola said they should be proud of what they have achieved over the season with his side needing just two victories to wrap up the Premier League title.

"Over the course of eleven months you have ups and downs", Guardiola said after Tuesday's loss to Liverpool. "It was a while ago Liverpool was in the semis and I was in the semis and now we are there together".

"I really think they are the best team in the world at the moment but I knew we could beat them".

This is three defeats in big games in a row for Guardiola and if there is a question about his team, it is the same one everyone highlighted last season and in the early part of this campaign. In fact, their best moment came just before half-time when Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, hardly noticeable in the game up to that point, drove at the City defence and nearly got in.

The Manchester City manager was sent to the stands at half-time of Tuesday's game at the Etihad Stadium for complaining to referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz over a disallowed Leroy Sane goal.

"We only can develop".

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The turning point came seconds later when Sane turned into an empty net after Loris Karius's punch came back off his own player James Milner.

Bayern Munich, already crowned Bundesliga champions, will hope to be the exception to the rule against Sevilla, with a 2-1 lead to defend in Bavaria. I didn't insult him.

"I was polite, I was correct, but Mateu Lahoz is a special guy, he likes to be different, he likes to be special". Who else but Mo Salah to deliver the away goal which took the tie out of City's reach?

"This wonderful goal that we served them on a plate. We were beaten by an exceptional team", he said.

City could not match their first-half intensity after the break and Liverpool professionally closed out a place in the semi-finals of Europe's elite competition for a 10th time.

"We had luck in a couple of moments to be honest, but when you look over the two games we have been courageous and when you are fearless the luck goes with you".

Pep Guardiola: 'Antonio Mateu Lahoz is a special guy'