Manchester City right-back Bacary Sagna believes he was fouled in the build-up to Liverpool’s opening goal in their 4-1 win at the Etihad Stadium.
Sagna was part of the France team playing Germany at the Stade de France on the night nine days’ ago the French capital was targeted by terrorists, who killed 130 people.
He was then caught up in the emotion of the tributes paid to the victims at Wembley as England hosted France last Tuesday, with Eliaquim Mangala was another member of the squad.
Sagna and Mangala had a day to forget as they returned to Premier League action at the weekend, with City comprehensively outplayed by Liverpool.
Both players were involved in Liverpool’s first goal after just seven minutes as Sagna was dispossessed by Philippe Coutinho before Mangala turned a Roberto Firmino pass into his own net.
Asked if he felt he was fouled by Coutinho in the build-up, Sagna said: “To me it is a foul because he clearly pushed me, but the game kept going and we conceded a goal.
“It is never easy. I felt guilty, but I had to keep the head up. But I was too upset. I was thinking about what happened, but I shouldn’t.”
Asked if he felt ready to play following the Paris attacks, the 32-year-old said: “Mentally I was. Physically I believed I was, but I wasn’t. I felt tired quite quickly. I didn’t have as much power as I am used to.”
As at all Premier League games over the weekend, the French national anthem was played prior to kick-off in memory of the Paris victims.
Asked about the emotion of the occasion, Sagna said: “It has not been my best week, but that is life. There is nothing you can do about it. This is part of the past. Just keep the head up. It was not easy to be part of that event, but that is life.”
Sagna did not offer excuses after a performance in which few City players emerged with any credit.
The City team as a whole failed to live with the unrelenting intensity of Liverpool, who raced 3-0 ahead inside 32 minutes, and slipped to third in the table.
Sagna said: “It was one of those days. I think we played badly, myself first. We made a few mistakes against a good team and they scored.
“We were 3-0 down and it was quite difficult to play. We had heads down a bit but we have to keep the heads up. We are still not far from the top of the table. Tomorrow is another day.”