Guardiola: Manchester City “forgot” to play in first half

Guardiola: Manchester City “forgot” to play in first half


Pep Guardiola has blamed Manchester City’s first half efforts for their Champions League elimination at the hands of AS Monaco on Wednesday night.

City conceded two goals in the opening half an hour, with Fabinho and Kylian Mbappe finding the back of the net. Leroy Sane’s goal put City in the lead on aggregate, but Tiemoue Bakayoko’s goal swung the tie back in Monaco’s favour.

The 3-1 at Stade Louis II win was enough for the principality club to progress to the last eight, claiming the 6-6 aggregate draw thanks to a superior away goals record.

Monaco scored three times at the Etihad a fortnight ago.

Guardiola says City simply “forgot” to play in the opening 45 minutes.

“We played exceptional second half but we forgot to do that in the first,” Guardiola told BT Sport.

“We wanted to defend aggressively. We were better in the second but it wasn’t enough.

“The second half we had the chances and we didn’t take them and that is why we are out.

“And set pieces are so important at this level. Barcelona and Real Madrid scored from them last week.

“We were not there and we were not there in the first 45 minutes.

“Normally we play to a good level but here we didn’t. We will learn. The team does not have a lot of experience.

“We will improve but this competition is so demanding. Sometimes we have to be special and be lucky. We were not.”

Monaco join Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Leicester City and Juventus as teams to have reached the quarter-finals.