Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti admitted they were beaten by the better side as they suffered a painful 4-0 demolition at Manchester City on Wednesday that completed a 5-1 aggregate defeat in their Champions League semi-final.
City, who were beaten by Real at the same stage last season, avenged that heartbreaking defeat with a brilliant performance in front of their jubilant fans, with only Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois preventing them inflicting even more damage.
"They played better than us and deserved to win," Ancelotti told reporters.
"They put a lot of pressure at the beginning, it worked out well for them because they made it very difficult for us to get the ball in play and they went two goals ahead.
"From then on, it was difficult to get back into the game. We tried in the second half... but it didn't work out."
Ancelotti admitted it was a painful night but said it was too soon to analyse what had gone wrong.
"Evaluating today, at this moment, makes no sense," he said.
"It is a defeat that hurts, it hurts a lot. But it can happen. We reached the semi-finals of the Champions League against a strong opponent, they played better and left us without a final. We have to learn and for the next season, to be better."
A year after winning a LaLiga and Champions League double, and becoming the first manager to capture titles in each of Europe's top five leagues, Ancelotti was facing up to finishing the campaign with just a Spanish Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup to show for their efforts.
He did, however, set another record on Wednesday, becoming the coach with the most European Cup games (191), surpassing the mark set by former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson.
But with their rivals Barcelona crowned LaLiga champions last weekend with four-games to spare, Ancelotti was left searching for a silver lining.
"I think it was a good season. We have to show up in the few games we have ahead of us," Ancelotti said.
"I think that reaching a Champions League semi-final is a success because only four teams make it to the last four."