Manuel Pellegrini was “more than angry” about Manchester City’s performance in their 4-1 defeat to Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Beginning the day top of the Premier League, having lost just once at home and conceded five in six matches, they ended it in third place.
An own goal from Eliaquim Mangala was followed by efforts from Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino as City conceded three league goals in the first half for the first time since February 2003.
Sergio Aguero’s ninth of the season just before the break on his return from injury barely softened the blow with Reds defender Martin Skrtel brilliantly volleying home in the second half to complete the rout.
“I am more than angry, it is unbelievable the performance we had,” said Pellegrini.
“I have never seen this team play in the way they did tonight.
“It was a complete disaster, the whole team.
“It is difficult to understand why we should play so badly – not just one name but a complete team in defending or attacking possession.
“I think we didn’t prepare – we lost so many balls in attack it was impossible to create chances, we conceded four goals and could have conceded at least three or four more.”
Pellegrini’s decision to leave out centre-back Nicolas Otamendi and midfielder Fernandinho, two of City’s most consistent performers recently, was questioned but the Chilean refused to expand on his team selection – or his reasons for substituting captain Yaya Toure and Jesus Navas at half-time.
“I will not explain the starting XI, if I had to choose the same starting XI again I would do,” he added.
“There are a lot of things why I took the decisions with the starting XI but there was not one thing.
“I was not happy with the performance of the 11 players, not just Yaya and Navas when I substituted them at half-time.
“We tried to make another system and press high but it was exactly the same, it was not our night.”
Pellegrini also refused to discuss the performance of Raheem Sterling on his first appearance against the club he left in the summer in a £49million deal.
“I don’t want to talk about one player,” he said.
“These things sometimes happen in football, why we played so badly today – that is why I do not want to talk about one player or a tactical system.”