Manuel Pellegrini believes Real Madrid were lucky to beat Manchester City in their Champions League semi-final.
After a scoreless first leg, Zinedine Zidane’s side secured a 1-0 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu through Gareth Bale’s deflected strike to book their place in the final against Atletico Madrid.
Pellegrini, who steered City to the last four for the first time in their history this season, admits the defeat feels like a missed opportunity but insists Madrid were no better than his side over 180 minutes.
“Of course if you don’t reach the final you miss an opportunity,” he said. “We played against a very strong team that wasn’t better than us.
“You need a little bit of luck but that wasn’t the reason we couldn’t win the game. Tonight and the game we played at the Etihad we saw very equal teams. I don’t think Real Madrid demonstrated tonight that they are better than Manchester City.
“We tried to create but we couldn’t. Both teams couldn’t create. It was similar in the first leg. We didn’t deserve to lose this game, the goal was very lucky, a deflection into the top corner.
“Missing David Silva, [Samir] Nasri and Yaya [Toure] coming from an injury, we didn’t have creative players to make a difference.
“There are no regrets, we worked very well for 90 minutes. That’s why Real Madrid couldn’t create any chances. But we needed to create in the final third and today we couldn’t.”
Pellegrini now has just two Premier League games left before he hands over the reins to Pep Guardiola, and the Chilean is keen to finish the campaign on a high.
“It’s a special season because we have reached the semi-final,” he added. “I don’t think that we deserved to reach the final but it was a bit of luck that Real will play in the final.
“Of course it would have been a very important achievement to play that final. It was very important for me to try to reach that final but we did what we could and now we must try to finish well.”
City face Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.