Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini accepted the blame after his team slumped to a 3-1 defeat away to Dutch champion Ajax in UEFA Champions League play on Wednesday night. The loss left City at the bottom of Group D with one point from six games.
After the match, Mancini said he didn’t prepare his players properly. "They played better than us," Mancini told Sky Sports. "It's my fault, I didn't prepare the players properly for this game. It's my fault,” he repeated. “I prepared them one way but it was different. When you prepare them one way and think it will be like this, instead it is a different game."
Interestingly, the Italian said his decision to change briefly from a back four to a back three in the second half -- during which time Christian Eriksen scored Ajax’s third -- was not crucial. "We changed for five minutes but there were always 11 players [on the field]," he said. "Before [the change], we conceded two goals, so if someone wants to take this as an excuse, OK, but this is not the problem.” Mancini admitted it would now take “a miracle” for City to qualify for the Round of 16.