Guardiola hits back as Man City reach Champions League final
MANCHESTER, MAY 5: Pep Guardiola took a swipe at his critics after the Manchester City manager finally led his team to the Champions League final with a 2-0 win against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.
Riyad Mahrez's brace at the Etihad Stadium sealed a 4-1 aggregate success in the semi-final second leg.
City will make their first ever Champions League final appearance against Chelsea or Real Madrid in Istanbul on May 29.
It was a cathartic moment for City boss Guardiola, who has been needled by claims that he only won the Champions League with Barcelona thanks to the genius of Lionel Messi.
The Argentine superstar was crucial to Barca's two Champions League triumphs under Guardiola's management in 2009 and 2011.
Since leaving Barca in 2012, Guardiola had been unable to return to the Champions League final in three years with Bayern Munich and his first four seasons at City.
But the 50-year-old has taken City to the promised land at last and he was quick to underline how difficult the achievement was.
"We fought together and we're in the final of the Champions League and those are nice words," Guardiola said.
"People believe it's easy to arrive in the final of the Champions League. Getting to the final now makes sense of what we have done in the past four or five years.
"Manchester United won a (Champions League) title because of John Terry's slip and also in the last minute against Bayern Munich. Real Madrid won a final against Atletico in the 93rd minute.
"It's a competition that is so difficult and something in the stars is involved in that."
Praising City's squad for thriving despite the demands of a gruelling fixture list, Guardiola paid tribute to his players. -AFP