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17th Apr 2024

Ilkay Gundogan doesn’t spare Barcelona team-mates with honest post-match interview

Niall McIntyre

Ilkay Gundogan hasn’t spared his Barcelona team-mates in an honest appraisal of their Champions League elimination at the hands of PSG.

Barcelona were in the driving seat heading into Tuesday night’s second leg but despite taking an early lead through Raphinha, they conspired to throw the game and the tie away.

Xavi’s side led 4-2 on aggregate after Raphinha scored for the third time in the tie’s two legs but in the end, thanks to goals from Kylian Mbappe (2), Vitinha and Ousmane Dembele, PSG qualified for the semi-finals of the competition.

Speaking after the game, Gundogan told CBS: ‘I am disappointed. Very disappointed actually as we were in such a good position.

‘Not just after the first leg, but after the first goal we scored. Everything was in our hands and we just gave it away in the most simple of manners,” the German said.

The game turned on its head when Barcelona full back Ronald Araujo was sent off for fouling PSG youngster Bradley Barcola after 29 minutes. Barcelona couldn’t cope with the numerical disadvantage subsequently, as PSG went onto score four to win the tie on an aggregate score of 6-4.

Gundogan, who won the treble with Manchester City last season, didn’t make any excuses for his team’s loss. Even when given the opportunity to criticise the ref, he turned it down and instead pointed to his team’s own failings.

He criticised the Uruguayan full back Araujo for his decision making leading up to the sending off, before calling his team into question over Vitinha’s second half goal.

Gundogan felt the Portuguese midfielder should have been closed down quicker in that instance, with former City team-mate Joao Cancelo having stood off the goalscorer. Cancelo was also guilty for lunging in on Ousmane Dembele just before half-time, giving away a first half penalty, which Mbappe put away.

‘We just gave it to Paris Saint-Germain and that’s the most disappointing part.’ 

“If he [Araujo] fouled him [Barcola], I guess it’s a red card. I haven’t seen the replay, I don’t know. You guys probably know better than me.

‘It’s difficult to say. You know, in these kind of crucial moments you need to be sure to get the ball. 

‘If you don’t [know you’re going to get the ball], and again I don’t know if he touched the ball or not, you need to stay away. 

‘I would prefer to concede a goal there or give the striker 1v1. Although, the ball was played quite far ahead so I don’t even know if he would have reached the ball.

‘But, maybe let our goalkeeper save us or even concede a goal because to go a player down so early on just kills your game.’

‘Again, it’s another mistake. We have to step out there. We can’t let him shoot because he was so free,” he added of Vitinha’s goal.

‘It wasn’t anything we haven’t trained before. The closest player to the ball has to step out. We were three with three and Vitinha was the fourth man. Someone has to step out.

‘No one did or they did it too late. It was a good shot and they got their second goal. But, it wasn’t necessary at all. It’s too late right now.’

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