Former Man Utd man can’t resist chance to add salt to City wounds
Lyon defender Rafael feels complacency could have been a factor as Manchester City suffered a shock loss to the French side in their Champions League opener.
City, the competition favourites, made a miserable start in Group F as Lyon punished their errors to win 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
The result was unexpected given City’s unbeaten start to their Premier League title defence and Lyon’s recent inconsistency, having lost two of their first five games in Ligue 1.
Rafael, the former Manchester United player, said: “I don’t know if they underestimated us – we played well. We had more chances to score goals.
“Maybe they thought… we are not very good in Ligue 1, you know. We’re not playing very good football. Maybe they looked at the videos and said, ‘Well, they don’t have good confidence’.”
Given his past allegiances, Rafael certainly had extra reason to enjoy the win.
The 28-year-old Brazilian said: “Everybody knows I’m a United supporter. To come here to win at City – I’ve never lost here – is very good for me.
“We know that if we play together we have a chance against any team. We have quality players. We just need to play like this more often and results will come.
“I really enjoyed it, of course. City are the champions and have this team at the moment. For me it’s an amazing feeling.”
With Hoffenheim and Shakhtar Donetsk playing out a draw, the defeat means City head to Germany for their next game in a fortnight bottom of the group.
They were undone in the first half by goals from Maxwel Cornet and Nabil Fekir, which came after mistakes from Fabian Delph and Fernandinho. Bernardo Silva pulled one back after the break but it was not enough for the hosts.
City will at least have manager Pep Guardiola back in charge for their next outing. Guardiola, serving a touchline ban, could only look on helplessly from the stands as assistant boss Mikel Arteta directed the team.
Fernandinho denies underestimating Ligue 1 side
Midfielder Fernandinho did not believe the absence of Guardiola was the reason City lost.
He said: “I don’t think so because we worked the last two days, focusing with him and we play with him the whole season.
“The first half was very poor from us but you have to forget it and, if you have to analyse the game, you have to take the positive points. We try to do better in the next games.”
Fernandinho did not believe City underestimated their opponents.
He said: “My point of view is it is a tough group. I never thought it was going to be easy and they show that.
“We had a first half to forget with some mistakes by myself and, in the second half, we tried to take over, to recover the result but it was too late.
“We have to be humble now and go to Hoffenheim to try and win there and the other four games as well.”