Rodri makes ‘crazy’ admission ahead of next Liverpool and Man City showdown

Rodri believes his Manchester City side are in for a ‘huge challenge’ when they face Liverpool in the semi-finals of the FA Cup tomorrow afternoon and has questioned the scheduling of his club’s matches.

Just days after drawing with the Reds in the Premier League at the Etihad, City booked their place in the Champions League semi-finals following a 1-0 aggregate win over Atletico Madrid. The second-leg at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium finished 0-0 on Wednesday night.

Rodri believes City showed their mental resilience in Madrid as Pep Guardiola’s side came through a gruelling quarter-final tie to set-up a final four date with Real Madrid. However, treble-chasing City may also be left to count the cost with Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker suffering knocks during Wednesday’s bruising encounter.

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“It’s a giant step for us as a team and as a club being in the second semi-final in a row,” Rodri said. “We have a lot of games on our shoulders and obviously that also takes its toll. It’s going to be a great semi-final. We are facing the kings of the Champions League.

“Before that, though, we need to rest and prepare for the FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool. It will be another huge challenge. We have a few games we need to focus on first before thinking about Real Madrid.”

Before the Spain international added: “I am very proud because firstly we did a great two games with a very tough opponent. We competed until the end. Of course they have weapons in this stadium, I know them very well. They pushed until the end and we suffered in some minutes, but that’s normal. Sometimes (people) think we are always going to play beautiful but it is not like this.

“Other teams have good players and they punish you. But we were good – an unbelievable competitive mentality and we go through. I think we’ve grown a lot in this sense in the last years.

“We need to keep on improving because we are going to live moments like this in the next games. We need to be strong mentality and together and never give up. That is the way. We expect another tough team next with another way of playing but we will think about it when we face them. Let’s think about Liverpool first. The calendar is crazy. We’ve had these two games against Atletico, the other day against Liverpool.

“You have to work 100 percent and now we have Liverpool again – too many difficult games at the same time but it is what it is. We have to refresh our minds, recover and give the best shape in the next game.”

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