Rodrigo Says Manchester City 'Could Have Done More Damage' to Real Madrid in UCL

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2020

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 26: Rodri Hernandez of Manchester City celebrates after winning during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Real Madrid and Manchester City at Bernabeu on February 26, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Manchester City midfielder Rodrigo has said his side "could have done more damage" to Real Madrid after they came from behind to win 2-1 in their UEFA Champions League round-of-16 first leg on Wednesday.

The Citizens will bring a valuable advantage back to the Etihad Stadium after late goals from Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne saw them take the victory in the Spanish capital.

Real captain Sergio Ramos was also sent off for the hosts, but Rodrigo, also known as Rodri, said the result could have been even worse for Los Blancos, per ESPN FC's Rob Dawson:

"They dropped in the last 10 minutes, we detected that and if the game had lasted a little longer, we could have done more damage still. But given the way the game was it is a very good result for us.

"We showed strength when things went badly and that's what we have lacked this season. We managed to do something that we have lacked all season which is hold on in the bad moments, have personality, demonstrate that and not lose our shape or control."

De Bruyne and Jesus combined to kickstart City's revival when the latter headed the former's cross past Thibaut Courtois in the 78th minute to give the Citizens a lifeline at the Santiago Bernabeu (U.S. viewers only):

Bleacher Report Live @brlive

Magic from Kevin De Bruyne and a header from Gabriel Jesus gave Manchester City the jumpstart on its comeback in Madrid 💥 Stream Wednesday's #UCL Highlight Show now on #BRLive ➡️ https://t.co/tohaF7rXYW https://t.co/bMafdoxBfY

Pep Guardiola's side were bossed out of the game's early exchanges and took just 26.9 percent of possession after the first 10 minutes, per WhoScored.com.

The visiting team grew into the game, but Rodrigo's misplaced pass in midfield gave Real their chance for Isco's breakthrough (U.S. viewers only):

Bleacher Report Live @brlive

Vinicius Jr. to Isco gives Real Madrid the lead ⚪️ ➡️ https://t.co/ZvxaCzeKnc https://t.co/ypZWbqG9Bu

Ramos was the last man back for Real in the 86th minute, when his pull on Jesus was enough to send the Brazilian tumbling, and his absence in the second leg is sure to be felt by Real. Riyad Mahrez couldn't make the most of the resulting free-kick, another glaring opportunity for City to increase their lead further.

Guardiola said after the game that the tie is far from decided and that he is expecting a resilient response from Zinedine Zidane's men in the reverse fixture, as Football Daily shared:

Football Daily @footballdaily

Pep Guardiola on Manchester City's win over Real Madrid 🗣"The second game will be different, today we're happy but closer to the second leg we'll be worried" https://t.co/2yKKxzkCGj

It's perhaps unsurprising that Rodrigo—who joined City from Real rivals Atletico Madrid last summer—is inclined to rub salt in the wound following such a memorable victory. The 23-year-old has become an important member of Guardiola's lineup in his maiden season in England and recently broke the Premier League record for most passes in a single game:

Premier League @premierleague

Rodri completed 178 passes for Man City, the most in the #PL since records began (2003/04) #MCIWHU https://t.co/GsiAC1hf19

He echoed his manager's comments, adding the round-of-16 tie is "not done at all." City will hope they aren't made to regret their missed chances when the teams meet again in Manchester on March 17.