UCL: Why Pep Guardiola Withdrew His Best Penalty Takers Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne

UCL: Why Pep Guardiola Withdrew His Best Penalty Takers Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne

Rene Otinga
updated at April 18, 2024 at 7:19 AM
In this article:
Kevin De Bruyne logo
K. D. Bruyne
Manchester City logoMBelgium logo
Erling Braut Haaland logo
Manchester City logoFNorway logo
UEFA Champions League logo
UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid logo
Real Madrid
  • Manchester City were bundled out of the Champions League by Real Madrid
  • City fans were left concerned after Kevin de Bruyne and Haaland were withdrawn
  • Pep Guardiola has now issued an update on the duo and why they were taken off

⚽️ Bookmark Sports Brief's Live Football Fixtures; Live Scores; Results and Tables section ⚽️

Pep Guardiola has disclosed the duo of Erling Haaland and Kevin de Bruyne ‘could not continue’ in the Champions League quarter-final second-leg game against Real Madrid on Wednesday, April 17.

Holders City were knocked out of the competition by Los Blancos via penalties, losing 4-3 in the shootout after the tie finished with an aggregate scoreline of 4-4.

Ke Bruyne, Guardiola, Haaland, Manchester City, Champions League, Substitute, Penalties
Kevin De Bruyne is consoled by Haaland after a missed chance during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg against Real Madrid CF at Etihad Stadium on April 17, Photo by Marc Atkins.
Source: Getty Images

De Bruyne and Haaland would have presumably taken spot kicks if they were still on the pitch, but they were withdrawn earlier.

City’s top scorer Haaland was withdrawn after 90 minutes to be replaced by Julian Alvarez, while De Bruyne, who scored their equaliser last evening, was replaced by Mateo Kovacic after the first half of extra time.

Why Guardiola withdrew Haaland and De Bruyne

With many fans wondering why Guardiola took off two of his best set piece takers despite the possibility of a shootout, the Man City boss said after the game, per BBC:

“Erling and Kevin asked me to go out. They could not continue, like Manu. They were playing amazing and I'm not a big fan of so many substitutions but Kevin, Erling and Manu asked me to go out because they could not continue.”
Kovacic and Bernardo Silva missed their penalties, which helped Real Madrid secure a semi-final ticket at the expense of a Manchester City side that dominated possession throughout the tie.

What next for Manchester City?

City’s hopes for securing a treble for a second season in a row are effectively over, and attention will turn to the FA Cup, where they face Chelsea in the semifinal on Saturday.

Guardiola will be glad Liverpool and Arsenal slipped up in the title race last weekend, as they now sit two points clear at the top ahead of their next league fixture on April 25 against Brighton, per Standard.

Martinelli blamed for Arsenal loss

Elsewhere, Sports Brief reported on how Gabriel Martinelli was blamed for Arsenal’s defeat to Bayern Munich.

The Gunners' hopes of conquering the tournament this season after an impressive run of form were dashed on Wednesday night after they suffered a 3-2 aggregate defeat against the Bundesliga giants in the quarter-finals.

Joshua Kimmich was the match hero for the hosts, with the midfielder scoring the all-important goal in the 63rd minute to send his side to the semis.

Rene Otinga photo
Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and TUKO.co.ke.
Pep Guardiola