We’re here. We can think about it, we can visualize it, the City manager said after his team’s 4-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium.
Playing the first match to a 1-1 draw, the undisputed Kings of Europe were humiliated by Madrid, and had it not been for the efforts of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, the score could have been much worse for the 14-time champions.
City feels like an irresistible force as they approach the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup titles. Bernardo Silva scored twice in the first half, Eder Militao scored an own goal after halftime, and substitute Julian Alvarez struck in added time to earn an overall 5-1 victory.
Madrid has come back from the brink many times over the past two seasons, but this was too much to handle.
After defeating the reigning European champions, City would prefer to do the same against Inter Milan in the final in Istanbul on June 10.
A win over Chelsea on Sunday would secure City a third consecutive league title, while Manchester United would stand in its way in the FA Cup final. United are the only English team to win three major trophies in the same season – it happened in 1999.
City has already overtaken its Manchester rival as the dominant force in English soccer and can now repeat its greatest achievement.
We are close to it and we will certainly try, Guardiola said.
City goes in search of its first Champions League title, and Guardiola aims to win it for the third time as coach.
At times, it seemed that the pressure on Europe’s biggest stage was too much for a team that regularly wins domestic competitions. If the quality of City’s play during the seven years of Guardiola’s leadership was rarely questioned, his temperament in the Champions League was questionable.
All too often, City have underperformed, losing to outsiders such as Monaco, Lyon and Tottenham.
Last year in the semi-final against Madrid, it led almost the entire match but still lost, losing by a two goal margin in the final minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu.
This time, however, it no longer seemed likely, as City provided further proof that it was a final