Rodri believes Manchester City’s stunning win at Real Madrid saw them re-discover the mental strength which has been lacking this season.
The Blues are lagging behind Premier League champions-elect Liverpool after losing points in games they should have won.
And Rodri’s midfield colleague Ilkay Gundogan suggested, in the past, that City are sometimes not resilient enough when they go behind in games.
They found that inner strength at the Bernabeu after a defensive calamity saw them go behind to an Isco goal.
Gabriel Jesus’ equaliser and an ice-cool Kevin De Bruyne penalty turned it around to give City a slender advantage ahead of the second leg at the Etihad on March 17.
And Rodri said the mind-set was different this time.
“We never let the game slip away from us,” said the Spain midfielder. “We managed to do something that we have lacked all season which is hold on in the bad moments, have personality, demonstrate that and not lose our shape or control.
“They went 1-0 up and we didn’t let the game pass us by. It is a good result but it’s not done at all, knowing the opponent we have before us.
“We will approach the game with the greatest seriousness and I am sure they will battle.”
Some sought to diminish City’s achievement by suggesting Real are a spent force since Cristiano Ronaldo left.
But Rodri said that is disingenuous.
“Of course you can tell [when someone like Ronaldo is not there]," he said. "Those kind of players, of which there are basically two in the world, who tip the balance, you notice when they’re not there. They’re a bit flatter.
“But that doesn’t mean they’re worse. They have good midfielders and they impose on you more, although in ‘arrival’ they do less.”
City finished the game strongly after Raheem Sterling went on as a sub and there was the added bonus of Sergio Ramos' late dismissal that will keep him out of the second leg.
Rodri felt the score line could have been even bigger in City’s favour:
“They dropped in the last ten minutes, we detected that and if the game had lasted a little longer, we could have done more damage still. But given the way the game was it is a very good result for us. We. showed strength when things went badly and that’s what we have lacked this season.”
Real were unhappy with Jesus’ equaliser, claiming he shoved Ramos in the back as he headed in Kevin De Bruyne’s cross.
But Rodri disputed that version of events.
“Jesus wins his position in the jump and he is strong,” he said. “He uses his body well.”