I do need a rest – Rodri admits he needs a break during Man City’s run-in

By Sports Desk April 10, 2024

Rodri admits he needs a break amid the intensity of Manchester City’s relentless pursuit of an unprecedented second successive treble.

The Spain international, who has not lost any of his last 66 games for club and country in a run stretching back more than a year, is vital to City’s bid to make history.

Yet Pep Guardiola’s influential midfield driving force looked laboured at times in Tuesday’s thrilling 3-3 Champions League draw at Real Madrid and concedes the schedule is taking its toll.

The 27-year-old said: “Every one of us can do better, even myself, but we need to rest to be honest.

“I do. I do need a rest. Let’s see how we speak, how we live the situation. Sometimes it is what it is.

“I need to adjust. It (rest) is something we are planning, yes.”

Guardiola could therefore make some changes for Saturday’s Premier League encounter with relegation-threatened Luton, as he looks ahead to the return clash with Real next Wednesday.

Yet with just a point separating the top three in the domestic competition, there is little margin for error for third-placed City.

Rodri felt the holders showed their mettle as they recovered from a 2-1 half-time deficit to lead on an enthralling night at the Bernabeu Stadium.

Bernardo Silva’s early strike was wiped out by a Ruben Dias own goal and Rodrygo effort, but the English side responded with stunning strikes from Phil Foden and Josko Gvardiol.

Real, however, were able to have the final say as Federico Valverde volleyed a late equaliser to ensure the second leg of the quarter-final tie will begin evenly poised.

“We showed our mentality to come back, to be honest,” said Rodri. “To go against them and come back with those goals sums up the mentality of the champions we are.

“It was a good result for us in terms of how the game was and everything is open. It’s one game in our home now and we are very strong there.”

City claimed a draw at the Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg of the semi-finals last year before thrashing the Spanish giants 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium to go through.

“Of course we can recreate it,” said Rodri, a former Atletico Madrid player. “We know how strong we are in our home.

“The key thing was, we knew whatever happened it wasn’t going to be over, even if we won or we lost. We have a draw that is the same result we had last season.

“It’s a good result in terms of the feeling of the team. We were finding the spaces in the second half, we did it great and now we move to Manchester. If we copy the first 20-30 minutes of the second half here, it’s going to be difficult for them.”

Related items

  • Sevilla 1-2 Barcelona: Bittersweet farewell for Xavi as Barca end season with a win Sevilla 1-2 Barcelona: Bittersweet farewell for Xavi as Barca end season with a win

    Barcelona ended the season with a 2-1 victory at Sevilla in LaLiga on Sunday, making departing coach Xavi's farewell bittersweet after a trophy-less season.

    La Blaugrana came out all guns blazing from the start and took the lead in the 15th minute through Robert Lewandowski who scored from close range after latching onto Joao Cancelo's cross.

    Sevilla levelled with Youssef En-Nesyri's strike in the 31st minute and went close again but failed to beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen before Barca got the winner on the hour through Fermin Lopez.

    Barca were already guaranteed second place going into Xavi's final game. The Spaniard was sacked on Friday, after a disappointing campaign in which they lost the Spanish Supercopa final to Real Madrid and were knocked out of the Champions League by Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-final.

    Data Debrief: A legend departs

    Xavi never lost any of his six games as a manager against Sevilla in LaLiga (W5 D1), making them just the third opponent that he faced six times without defeat (also W5 D1 against Real Mallorca and Osasuna).

    Fermin got the all-important goal to ensure Xavi's tenure ended on a high note. He has scored seven goals in LaLiga in 2024, a record surpassed by only one other Spanish player in Europe's top five leagues this year: Iago Aspas (eight). 

  • Verona 2-2 Inter: Arnautovic double earns point for Serie A winners Verona 2-2 Inter: Arnautovic double earns point for Serie A winners

    Champions Inter end their Serie A season with a 2-2 draw against Verona thanks to a Marko Arnautovic double.

    The Austrian opened the scoring after 10 minutes with a neat finish, but Inter were soon pegged back as Tijjani Noslin equalised six minutes later.

    The Dutchman then set up Tomas Suslov for their second to turn the game on its head, but another smart finish from Arnautovic on the stroke of half-time ensured they would salvage a point.

    Simone Perilli proved the hero for Verona in the end, pulling off a string of fine saves to keep his side level.

    Data Debrief: Landmark for Inzaghi

    Simone Inzaghi has now earned 250 points as a coach in Serie A with Inter, an achievement only Roberto Mancini has reached so far with the Nerazzurri in the three-points-per-win era (436). This draw takes him up to the landmark after 77 wins and 19 draws (18 losses).

    After winning the Scudetto with five games to go, Inzaghi has led Inter to 94 points in Serie A, with only three teams ever earning more points in a single campaign in the competition in the three-points-per-win era: Inter in 2006-07 (97) and Juventus in 2013-14 (102) and 2017-18 (95).

  • Bonucci calls time on glittering career Bonucci calls time on glittering career

    Leonardo Bonucci has called time on his glittering career, after playing his final game for Fenerbahce.

    The decorated defender announced on Saturday that he would retire at the end of the Turkish Super Lig season, which concluded with Ismail Kartal's side inflicting a 6-0 rout on Istanbulspor.

    However, it was not quite enough to snatch the title from Galatasaray, who finished three points clear after a 3-1 victory at Konyaspor on the final day.

    Bonucci, who signed from Union Berlin in January, was given a wonderful reception as he was presented with a plaque before the game, in which he came on as a 64th-minute substitute.

    The 37-year-old enjoyed the most success during his career with Juventus, where he won eight Serie A titles and reached two Champions League finals, while he helped Italy to glory at Euro 2020.

    "It was a pleasure for me to be a part of this wonderful family," he said of his time at Fenerbahce on Saturday. "I tried to show my best on and off the field.

    A statement on the club website paid tribute to Bonucci, reading: "It was an honour to see a legend like you in a Cubuklu jersey. 

    "At this special moment of your career, we would like to thank you on behalf of the entire Fenerbahce family. We wish you successful and healthy days in which you will be a part of football in your future life."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.