Liverpool - Pep Guardiola refused to blame his humiliated Manchester City stars after they crashed to a dismal 4-0 defeat against Everton on Sunday.
City's wretched effort at Goodison Park condemned Guardiola to the heaviest league defeat of his glittering managerial career.
But, publicly at least, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss wasn't angry with his expensively assembled team and he insisted the chastening afternoon could have gone differently if City had taken their early chances.
"We created enough chances in the first half to score. After what happened we were not able to score and Everton had one chance and scored," Guardiola said.
"They scored straight after half-time and that is tough mentally for the players.
"The consequence of the game is an example of many that has happened this season. It is football.
"In football you sometimes don't need to do many things to score. They arrive once and score a goal."
City's fourth defeat in their last eight league games leaves them trailing 10 points behind leaders Chelsea, with even a top four finish suddenly far from certain.
It is a far cry from the hype that greeted Guardiola's arrival in the close-season and the plaudits that followed City's success in the opening weeks of the campaign.
Guardiola acknowledged City must improve, but he claimed it was mostly bad luck that had led to his team's problems.
"Of course we can do better. It is normal to live these kind of situations sometimes," he said.
"It is awful for my players. It is not today it is almost all the season and it is tough for the players to handle that situation.
"I said to the players be positive because they have made fantastic things in this season but didn't always get what we deserve. I think all managers can say this, though."