Wednesday, November 25

Pep Guardiola: Manchester City made mistakes in shock Champions League exit | Football News












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Pep Guardiola admits his Manchester City side did not do enough to go through to the Champions League semi-finals after their 3-1 defeat to Lyon

Pep Guardiola admits his Manchester City side did not do enough to go through to the Champions League semi-finals after their 3-1 defeat to Lyon

Pep Guardiola gave an honest critique of Manchester City’s shock Champions League exit to Lyon after they exited at the quarter-final stage for the third successive season.

City lost 3-1 and paid for mistakes and misses during a match in which VAR came to the fore in a drama-filled conclusion.

Moussa Dembele appeared to foul Aymeric Laporte in the build-up to Lyon’s second goal, but VAR decided it was not enough to rule out the strike. Raheem Sterling then missed an open goal from just yards out before Dembele scored his second of the evening after a spilled save from Ederson fell into his path.

Guardiola gave a frank assessment of his side after yet another Champions League failure and said errors eventually cost them in Lisbon.

Raheem Sterling missed an open goal late in the game

Raheem Sterling missed an open goal late in the game

“One day we will break this gap,” he told BT Sport. “The second half was OK, I had a feeling we were better but you have to be perfect in these competitions.

“I don’t want to talk about the circumstances [of Dembele’s first goal], it looks like I’m complaining or finding excuses. We are out. We did a lot of good things and in the end it was not enough.

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Former Man City defender Danny Mills says Pep Guardiola got his team selection wrong during the 3-1 Champions League quarter-final defeat to Lyon

Former Man City defender Danny Mills says Pep Guardiola got his team selection wrong during the 3-1 Champions League quarter-final defeat to Lyon

“We made mistakes in both boxes at key moments and that’s why we are out. We scored a magnificent goal but unfortunately we missed another one. You have to be perfect, you cannot make mistakes.”

In his post-match press conference, Guardiola said his players were naturally upset after the result but they would be given time to rest before turning their attentions to next season.

He added: “The players are, of course, sad. Now we are going to [go through these emotions] in the hotel. It’s part of the game.

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Pep Guardiola says it is time for his Manchester City players to take a break to get ready for next season

Pep Guardiola says it is time for his Manchester City players to take a break to get ready for next season

“In this competition, we know we can do many things but we have to be serious in the boxes and not concede these goals. The statistics show that we were good, we did more than they other ones in terms of everything but it was not enough.

“We struggled [in] the first 15-20 minutes to find the spaces to attack a little bit better with more consistency. Then after the last 15-20 minutes [of the first half], they [Lyon] started to play really good and a team like we knew – so aggressive, defensive and strong, like all the French teams.

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Pep Guardiola says his Manchester City players are down following their 3-1 defeat to Lyon in their Champions League quarter-final

Pep Guardiola says his Manchester City players are down following their 3-1 defeat to Lyon in their Champions League quarter-final

“And the second half, we were good but was not good enough. The distance sometimes [is] the chances we miss and after we concede a goal. It is what it is. Maybe one day we will break past the quarter-finals, we are not able to do it. I am not able to with these incredible guys. We will try in the future.

“The show must go on and now it’s time for the players to take a break, we are going to get in as many days as possible. Next season will be so strong and demanding, but not the time to think about this… So [we will] try to sleep a little bit and pass 24 hours, 48 hours and then we start to think about next season.”

De Bruyne: Different year, same stuff

Man City have exited the Champions League in the quarter-finals for the last three seasons

Man City have exited the Champions League in the quarter-finals for the last three seasons

Kevin De Bruyne equalised for Man City in the second half, firing home with a superb finish, but he was also straight to the point with his own assessment of the defeat.

De Bruyne told BT Sport: “We need to learn. It’s not good enough and that’s it. Different year, same stuff. The first half wasn’t good enough, we started slow but in the second half we played really well.

“In the second half we played well and had them under pressure. We played more offensive like we normally do. At 2-1 if Raz scores it’s 2-2 and the game goes on. That’s football, it’s fine margins. They made it 3-1 and the game is over.

“I have no idea [about the VAR decision], I haven’t seen it back. Whatever they decide, they decide. I’m not going to blame that. We should have done better.”

Lyon, through to a potentially daunting semi-final against Bayern Munich, were rank outsiders having finished seventh in the curtailed Ligue 1 season this year.

Garcia: Success down to team spirit

Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring for Lyon vs Man City

Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring for Lyon vs Man City

For Lyon, they are on a sensational Champions League run, knocking out Juventus and Manchester City in the knockout round so far, but face a daunting semi-final against Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Coach Rudi Garcia, whose appointment last autumn was not widely welcomed by fans, said: “I’m proud of my players. We believed in ourselves. We knew we weren’t favourites and we were playing a top team.

“Above all our success was down to our team spirit. Everyone worked for each other and the substitutes helped a lot.

“We won the tactical battle. There are still matches to be played and hurdles to overcome and we’ll try to overcome them.

“Moussa was disappointed not to start but I told him before the match that he would be very, very important when he came on.”

Analysis: Where did Guardiola get it wrong?

Sky Sports’ Ron Walker…

“A back three to match up against a Lyon side who finished in mid-table in the abridged Ligue 1 season, with a notable lack of the technical genius that has underpinned the free-scoring success of Guardiola’s City, had not been on the cards in most people’s predicted line-ups.

“No David Silva, no Bernardo Silva, no Phil Foden, no Riyad Mahrez. At least one had played in each of the 57 previous games this season. Only Kevin De Bruyne was the one creative wizard tasked with unlocking the Lyon defence, however. But even arguably the best midfielder in the world can only do so much on his own.

“If the issue needed more exposure, the introduction of Mahrez 11 minutes into the second period provided it. City immediately looked a more coherent attacking unit with him in the side, and it was no surprise when he played a part in his side’s equaliser barely 10 minutes later.

“Guardiola will, and has already, pointed to his side’s inability to take the chances they did create after half-time – Raheem Sterling may have his shocking miss ruminating around his head by the start of next season. While he is right, the fact it took a personnel change and 75 minutes before City created the kinds of chances worthy of looking back on with regret is just as valid an argument.”

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