Pep: Defense not to blame for Man City exit

  • Guardian, Wednesday, March 15, 2017 9:17 PM
Manager Pep Guardiola refused to blame Manchester City’s defense for its exit from the UEFA Champions League after a 3-1 loss at Monaco sent it packing on away goals (aggregate score: 6-6).

“No, it’s not about the defense," he said after his streak of seven straight appearances in the UCL semifinals ended. "Today was not about that -- why was the second half a problem with the defense? The problem was the first half when we were not there. 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. We have to play more than 45 minutes.

“It’s not about the defense and the goalkeeper. In the second half, we won the second balls and how many chances did they create? Nothing. The gap between our first- and second-half performances was too big. It will help us a lot in the future and [we will] learn from that. That is my feeling now.”

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