Ahead of their Champions League group stage game, Pep Guardiola has confessed that Manchester City’s loss to Olympique Lyon last season was solely his fault and not his players. The Cityzens were favourites to lift last term’s trophy but were shocked by Lyon in the quarter-finals in a 3-1 defeat.
After a sensational win over Real Madrid in the last of sixteen in the 2019/20 Champions League, many expected Manchester City to finally break their Champions League duck. That is especially with them pitted against Olympique Lyon but Rudi Garcia’s men produced a sensational underdog victory to pip Pep Guardiola’s Cityzens. The French side walked away with a 3-1 loss and eventually were beaten by winners Bayern Munich in the semi-finals.
But despite changes to the Manchester City team, the Cityzens are still amongst the favourites to lift the trophy although many are concerned that there is a mental block when it comes to Europe. However, Pep Guardiola has categorically denied that and instead confessed that he “felt so responsible” for the club’s loss to Lyon. Guardiola also added that while it’s “easy for the manager to blame” his players, they were not at fault for the loss.
“I don’t think it’s mental, because I think this situation is more about desire and avoiding some mistakes that we do. Lyon was a tough moment. I felt so responsible for this, how the club and players fought to achieve it, and I was not able to drive them. Still right now I feel responsible watching the game [back], but we have to accept the reality. We were not good enough; we didn’t play bad,” Guardiola said, reported the Guardian.
“It’s easy for the manager to blame their players. It’s not about this. I’m so responsible for this, I don’t blame any single players, they are mature enough. We had really good moments and had our chances but made mistakes and in this competition you cannot do it to go through. The reality is we have not performed [any year] to the level we have to get through in this competition – and that is the reality."
“We have to accept it with humility, accept all the bad situations that we have. Then, when we accept this, it is the best way to improve and go through [finally] and accept a new challenge for this season, start from zero again and try it again knowing we have to improve. Everyone knows this competition is so demanding. I feel so bad for the players [for previous failures]," he added.