Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has vowed to come back stronger in the next season after his team suffered a shocking 1-3 quarter-final defeat against Lyon in the ongoing UEFA Champions League on Saturday.
Guardiola said that he would want Manchester City players to break the deadlock of the quarterfinals after losing to Lyon which was their third straight quarter-final defeat in Europe’s premier club competition. Last year City were knocked out by Tottenham and in 2017-18 season Liverpool had ousted them from last eight.
“Now yes [they are disappointed], but after the break when we start again, we will recover. We will restart again and try to do it again,” Guardiola was quoted as saying on the official website of Manchester City.
“Of course, I am not able with these guys to break the quarter finals. Three years in a row we are out. Life is how you stand up again and next season we will try again,” he added.
Meanwhile, in what was arguably the best day in the history of Olympique Lyon’s history, the French team applied a 3-1 rout against a much-fancied Manchester City side. Lyon knocked City out of the competition and booked a semi-final clash against Bayern Munich.
On the other hand, Manchester City, who were being touted as one of the favourites to win the title this season, wasted the opportunity. Guardiola’s tactics are likely to come under scanner after he decided to put Fernandinho on the right, Aymeric Laporte in the middle and Eric Garcia on the left in a very defensive line-up.
It can be argued that fatigue played a crucial role in City’s fate this season as they had to play 14 matches in eight weeks, especially in a gruelling Premier League schedule, since the resumption of top-flight football after the COVID-19 hiatus.
Lyon, like the other French teams, came to the Champions League with fresher legs as the Ligue 1’s 2019-20 season was suspended back in March.
However, Guardiola refused to indulge in that debate and said that Manchester City will now shift their focus to the upcoming season. The Premier League 2020-21 season will start on September 12.
“Yeah but it is what it is. We knew it. The show must go on. Now it’s time for the players to take a break,” the City boss said.
“We will give them as many days as possible. Next season we will be strong and demanding. We will now try to sleep, pass 48 hours and then think about next season,” he concluded.