Pep: Sometimes you need to be special and lucky; City were not

Date published: Wednesday 15th March 2017 10:12

Pep Guardiola bemoaned his side’s lack of experience and said they “will learn” after Manchester City exited the Champions League.

It was the first time a Guardiola team had not reached at least the last four in the tournament as they were beaten 3-1 on the night by Monaco to lose on away goals.

First-half goals from Kylian Mbappe and Fabinho put the Ligue 1 leaders ahead and although Leroy Sane hit back for City, Tiemoue Bakayoko sealed victory with a header 13 minutes from time.

A calm Guardiola, told BT Sport: “We played exceptional second half but we forgot to do that in the first. We wanted to defend aggressively. We were better in the second but it wasn’t enough.

“Normally we play to a good level but here we didn’t. We will learn. The team does not have a lot of experience.

“The second half we had the chances and we didn’t take them and that is why we are out. And set-pieces are so important at this level. Barcelona and Real Madrid scored from them last week. We were not there and we were not there in the first 45 minutes.

 

“We will improve but this competition is so demanding. Sometimes we have to be special and be lucky. We were not.”

While John Stones said of the performance in France: “Very sloppy. Not up to our standard in the first half. We wanted to correct that but we weren’t clinical enough in both boxes. We didn’t score enough and weren’t defensively solid enough.

“The second half didn’t reflect the whole scoreline. We were the City people know from this season. We should have scored more. It is a difficult one for us to take. We should have done better and deserve to be in the next round.

“The gaffer was saying before that the more and more he plays the Champions League it is about the set-pieces. Real Madrid scored from two last week and went through. We weren’t solid enough.”

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