Ilkay Gundogan has praised Manchester City’s determination to make it to the semi-finals after defeating Borussia Dortmund to an aggregate score of 4-2. The Cityzens have finally broken their Champions League curse under Pep Guardiola which sees them heading to their first semi-final since 2016.
Despite Borussia Dortmund striking first via Jude Bellingham, Riyad Mahrez’s second-half penalty drew the game level and set things up for a super ending. But that was until Phil Foden managed to find the back of the net in the 75th minute ensuring Manchester City’s journey to the semi-finals following a 2-1 win at the Signal Iduna Park.
It saw Ilkay Gundogan praise his side in his post-match interview with the former Dortmund midfielder overjoyed at the way Manchester City played. He admitted that they showed character after a poor start to the game and it showcased just how much City wanted to reach the semi-finals.
"It means a lot, this club, this team deserves it. We are grateful for being in a great competition. Reaching the semi-final for the first time with this team. Obviously, we are very happy about it! Today was once again about showing character, we didn't play well the first 15 minutes, we struggled, weren't brave enough, we’re a bit scared to lose something, that was quite obvious," Gundogan told BT sport after the game.
The German midfielder was at the heart of the Manchester City midfield and played a key role in them creating numerous chances thanks to the likes of Kevin De Bryune and Phil Foden. What followed was relentless pressure from City after going a goal down and Gundogan added that their target at half-time was to produce a comeback.
"After conceding we got better into the game, more possession, keep the ball, create some good chances. Our target at half time was to come back and score the first goal in the second half and get the game back into our hands", he revealed.
The German international has also expressed the difficulty in performing on such high levels and the sheer consistency required to do so.
"We know how tough this competition is every year. The opponents are so difficult to play, this Borussia Dortmund team has a lot of quality. On a good day they can beat everyone, on the first half it looked like [they would]. It's about staying in the game, attitude, personality, especially in that stage of the competition. We proved ourselves that we are ready to fight into the semi-finals," added Gundogan.