Manchester City Out Of Champions League: Different Year, Same Stuff!

Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne said “we need to learn” after their third consecutive Champions League quarter-final exit.

Moussa Dembele scored two late goals as Lyon beat City 3-1 to set up a semi-final with Bayern Munich.

“It’s a different year, same stuff,” De Bruyne – who had equalised after Maxwel Cornet’s opener – told BT Sport.

City, who finished second in the Premier League, end the season with the EFL Cup as their only major trophy.

City have lost to Monaco in the last 16 and then against Liverpool and Tottenham in the quarter-finals of the Champions League in Pep Guardiola’s time in charge.

“The first half wasn’t good enough. In the second half we played well and had them under pressure,” De Bruyne said. “We were more offensive. Lyon didn’t really create but we need to learn.”

Manchester City boss Guardiola has often been accused of overthinking his tactics in big Champions League matches.

This time he played a 3-5-2 formation with wing-backs instead of his usual 4-3-3 as centre-back Eric Garcia replaced attacking midfielder Phil Foden in the team that beat Real Madrid.

“In this competition, tactics is not the most important thing,” said Guardiola – who last won the Champions League in 2011 with Barcelona.

“We worked three days on this. We discussed it and reviewed it. The way we played was really good. It was not a problem. I know how it works. I know why we did it.

“We will recover and restart and try to do it again. I am not able, with these guys, to break this line at the quarter-final.

“I think after what these guys have done, we deserve to go through but we are not able. Life is how you stand up again and next season we are going to try again.”

Dembele clipped City defender Aymeric Laporte in the build-up to his first goal – but the video assistant referee allowed the goal to stand.

“It happened many times in this competition but I don’t want to talk about anything now because it will be like we we are finding excuses as a club. It is what it is,” added Guardiola.

Raheem Sterling missed an empty net from close range that would have made it 2-2 moments before Dembele’s second.

“I have not seen him. We will talk in the hotel,” said Guardiola. “The players were sad in the locker room. It is part of the game.”

Tweeting after the game, Laporte wrote: “I’m a football player but a man foremost, we all made mistakes in this game, and I also take my responsibility for the bad team performance tonight. But this decision is hard to accept, especially in a crucial qualifier and with the help of VAR.”

‘Lyon benefited from Pep’s crazy tactics’

BBC Radio 5 Live pundit Pat Nevin, the former Chelsea and Scotland winger, said City had “shot themselves in the foot”.

“After about 22 minutes it wasn’t working. Pep Guardiola changed that after 60 minutes, so you’ve basically thrown away 60 minutes when you could have dominated the game,” Nevin said.

“The real shame is Guardiola was very reactionary tonight. Usually he wants his sides to control games, but he was bordering on insipid tonight.

“He was just not as brave as he usually is.”

French football journalist Julien Laurens said: “Lyon have benefited from Pep’s crazy tactics.

“It’s his failure. He messed up at the start, at half-time, during the second half.

“He massively overthinks in the Champions League. Sometimes it works, like against Real Madrid in Spain. Great, that works. But too many times it hasn’t worked.

“It didn’t work away against Spurs last season, it didn’t work against Monaco three years ago.

“Why don’t you play your normal team in a normal formation against a team that is far weaker than you? Why do you need to adapt your formation to the opposition?

“It just doesn’t work like this. He has to take the blame. He has to take responsibility. It has happened too many times.

“He has to step up and say ‘sorry, I keep trying to come with ideas and it’s just not working’.

“If I was a City fan tonight I’d be really cross with what Pep Guardiola has done. He messed it up big time.”

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