Pellegrini: I won’t quit Real Madrid

Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini dismissed any suggestion he might step down in the wake of his side’s Champions League exit at the hands of Lyon.

With the final being played at their Bernabeu home and more than 250 million euros being spent on new talent last summer, Madrid had placed great stock in going all the way in this year’s competition.

However, they were dumped out at the last 16 stage for sixth successive season after losing 2-1 on aggregate to Lyon.

Madrid were trailing 1-0 from the first leg in France but Cristiano Ronaldo’s early strike on Wednesday night wiped out that advantage and the Spanish giants than laid siege to the Lyon goal in a massively one-sided first half.

The second period was a different story though as Lyon, who had made two half-time substitutions, were much improved and they deservedly drew level through Miralem Pjanic’s 74th-minute goal.

There was no way back for Madrid after that and the inquests started immediately after the match, with Pellegrini being asked if he was considering falling on his sword following the setback.

The former Villarreal boss, who took charge at Madrid last summer, was defiant in his answer, saying: "I’m not going to resign, I’m not going to quit the fight.

"Of course we’re all very disappointed because we wanted to go far in this competition, but I’ve never thought about resigning."

When further quizzed on his future, Pellegrini said: "You will need to ask the directors that question.

"I see myself in exactly the same situation as I saw myself yesterday, though obviously with the bitter disappointment of the failure of being knocked out.

"My future depends only on the board, the only thing I can do is continue working as until now."

Madrid could hardly have had a better start to tonight’s return leg, with Ronaldo firing home his seventh Champions League goal of the season after just six minutes to level up the aggregate scores.

The home side then created a host of chances, with Gonzalo Higuain missing the best two when he hit the near post with an open goal to aim for before being denied by a fine stop by Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Pellegrini added: "We had a good first half, we had two good chances but we didn’t convert them.

"After the break the team were concerned about the 1-0 scoreline until Lyon scored. It was everyone’s hope to be able to play the final at the Bernabeu. The changing room is hurting."