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Guardiola: Why Man City failed in the champions league

Champions League By: Olakunle Brown | 16/03/2017

Guardiola passing instruction to Stones

Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola has refused to blame the defence after his side were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League by Monaco last night.

The Citizen had won the first leg of the round of 16 tie 5-3 at home but lost 3-1 away and although it finished 6-6 on aggregate, the Ligue 1 side qualified on the away goals rule.

However, many wondered why a City team that kept six consecutive away clean sheets prior to the Monaco game could collapse and concede six goals in two games which effectively pushed them out of the Champions League but Guardiola defended his backline in a post-match press conference.

"It's not about defence. Always we complain about goalkeepers and the defence, no. Today it was not," Guardiola said, after City became the first team in Champions League history to be eliminated after scoring five goals in the first leg of a knockout tie.

"In the second half was there a problem with the defence? No. The problem was in the first half we were not there.

"Our strength when the opponent has the ball is to go aggressive to pick it up and we didn't, in the right moment we didn't when we have done all the season.

"That is why we are out – we played 45 minutes. You have to play more than that but it is not about the defence and the goalkeeper.

"In the second half we won the second balls – how many chances did they create? Absolutely nothing [before Bakayoko's set-piece goal] – the same team.

"You cannot expect 90 minutes like the second half but the gap between the first and second was too big. In that situation, my feeling now is that we will learn from that and it will help us a lot in the future."

Manchester City have only the FA Cup as the only realistic chance of winning a title this season as they are currently ten points behind Chelsea in the premier league with 11 matches to the end of the season.