Champions League

Guardiola: City exit my fault

2017-03-16 08:48
Pep Guardiola (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Man City boss Pep Guardiola said it was his failure to convince his players to be aggressive and attack in Monaco that resulted in their Champions League exit.

City crashed out on away goals after a 3-1 defeat in Monaco on Wednesday in the second leg saw the tie finish 6-6 on aggregate.

Guardiola chose an attacking line up for the second leg but City didn’t really threaten during a poor first-half showing.

"I tried to convince them in all the meetings we had to come here, try to attack and score," Guardiola told a post-match press conference. "My mistake was being not able to convince them to do that."

"I did [convince them] in the second half but it was too late,” he added.

"All managers make mistakes but I don't think it was down to a tactical mistake.

"It's simple. The difference was between the first and the second half. In the second half we tried to win the game, we tried to play. I did it all my career in that way. But the problem was the first half. We weren't there."

City were poor at the back, conceding twice in the first half, and although they improved in the second 45 minutes, more defensive problems saw Monaco snatch the crucial goal in the 77th minute through Tiemoue Bakayoko.

Still, the Spaniard refused to criticize his defence, "It's not about the defence. Today was not about that. Why was the second half a problem with the defence?

"Our strikers have to be aggressive and pick the ball up, but we didn't at this crucial time. That's why we are out."

The loss marks the first time that a Guardiola side have failed to make the last eight of the Champions League.

But he said that City would come back stronger next term.

"I came here to win the Champions League. I tried, I tried - and I will try again," said Guardiola.

"Playing like we have done this season, like in the second half, would have been enough.

"The competition is so demanding. Hopefully we are going to learn so that, next season, we can come back here and make the same performance we did at the Etihad for the whole 90 minutes," he added.

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