Willy Caballero says Manchester City made Pep Guardiola proud after a positive reaction to their Champions League exit against Liverpool.
The City boss had expected a response following last week’s 3-1 second leg defeat in Monaco and that came in a pulsating Super Sunday stalemate with one of their top-four rivals at the Etihad.
Despite an incident-packed 1-1 draw, Guardiola still saw enough to proclaim it as “one of the proudest days of my career as a manager” and goalkeeper Caballero agreed City had shown character at a crucial stage in their season.
City are still involved in the FA Cup but with their title challenge seemingly over, their prime objective is now qualify ing for next season’s Champions League. The draw left them third in the Premier League table still a point ahead of Liverpool, who have played a game more.
“This is our trophy now. We are fighting every single game to be in the four who qualify for the Champions League,” Caballero said. “After the way that we lost against Monaco, the most important thing for us is to be there the next year, in the Champions League again.
“We played very well – with spirit, with mentality, with everything. We left everything on the pitch and we had chances until the last minute. So, to be a coach and see your team play this way, it is going to be magnificent to see.”
Sunday’s encounter saw both sides spurn numerous chances and have two penalty appeals each rejected before the break, with James Milner converting a second half spot-kick before City replied through Sergio Aguero.
Both teams had chances to win the game, however, with Adam Lallana miskicking in front of goal for Liverpool while Kevin De Bruyne hit the post and Aguero blazed over for City.
“To watch it was an amazing game but for us it was a shame, disappointing, because we needed to win,” Caballero added.