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Manuel Pellegrini has no regrets about his approach to Manchester City's Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid despite missing out on a place in the final.
The Premier League side exited the competition on Wednesday night with Gareth Bale's 20th minute strike, which was deflected off Fernando, enough to see Los Blancos through to the May 28 decider.
Pellegrini admits missing out on the final was an opportunity lost but he believes his side proved they can compete at the highest level.
"Of course if you don’t reach the final you miss an opportunity. We played against a very strong team that wasn’t better than us. You need a little bit of luck but that wasn’t the reason we couldn’t win the game," Pellegrini said.
"Tonight and the game we played at the Etihad we saw very equal teams. I don’t think Real Madrid demonstrated tonight that they are better than Manchester City."
City failed to register a single shot on target and Pellegrini believes his side were lacking a creative player.
“We tried to create but we couldn’t. Both teams couldn’t create. It was similar in the first leg. We didn’t deserve to lose this game, the goal was very lucky, a deflection into the top corner. Missing David Silva, (Samir) Nasri and Yaya (Touré) coming from an injury we didn’t have creative players to make a difference.
"There are no regrets, we worked very well for 90 minutes. That’s why Real Madrid couldn’t create any chances. But we needed to create in the final third and today we couldn’t."
City must now turn their focus back to the Premier League and the race for a top-four finish. The Blues are currently fourth, four points ahead of Manchester United who have a game in hand, and Pellegrini wants his side to finish the season well.
"It’s a special season because we have reached the semi-final. I don’t think that we deserved to reach the final but it was a bit of luck that Real will play in the final," he said.
"Of course it would have been a very important achievement to play that final. It was very important for me to try to reach that final but we did what we could and now we must try to finish well."