Pep Guardiola admitted Manchester City shot themselves in the foot once more in the Champions League after crashing out in the quarter-finals for the third straight season with a shock 3-1 defeat to Lyon in Lisbon.
A familiar cocktail of defensive errors, missed chances and VAR controversy did for Guardiola’s side with the Catalan coach also under fire for another surprise team selection in the knockout stages.
Guardiola is yet to get beyond the last eight in his four years in charge of City as the English side’s wait to be crowned champions of Europe continues despite the billions invested by the club’s Abu Dhabi owners.
“One day we’ll break this gap to the quarter-finals,” said Guardiola.
“You have to be perfect in these competitions in one game and we weren’t.”
City looked disjointed as Guardiola started with an unfamiliar 3-5-2 formation and trailed at half-time to Maxwel Cornet’s strike.
Their pressure in the second half finally told when Kevin De Bruyne levelled 21 minutes from time.
However, Moussa Dembele’s strike to restore the French side’s lead was allowed to stand despite a VAR check for a trip on Aymeric Laporte.
Raheem Sterling then incredibly fired over with the goal gaping to bring City back on level terms and less than 60 seconds later an error from goalkeeper Ederson allowed Dembele to tap home and seal Lyon a semi-final meeting with Guardiola’s old club Bayern Munich.
“This competition is that situation,” Guardiola added of Sterling’s miss.
“You have to equalise and go to extra-time and after we concede the third goal. We create more chances, so we did everything but unfortunately, we are out again.”
Neither Guardiola nor De Bruyne wished to dwell on the VAR call for Lyon’s second after the dramatic role it played in denying City a stoppage-time winner in last season’s quarter-final against Tottenham.
“I’ve no idea, I’ve not seen it back so whatever they decide, they decide. I’m not going to blame that, I think we should have done better,” De Bruyne told BT Sport.
“Different year, same stuff. We need to learn, it’s not good enough.”