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‘We struggled to play at our level’: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola after shock defeat against Arsenal

Pep Guardiola also explained that Manchester City did not look “ready enough”, but admitted that the players tried to make a comeback in the second half.

SNS | New Delhi |


Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola expressed his disappointment after suffering a shock defeat at the hands of Arsenal in the FA Cup 2019-20 semi-final on Thursday at the Wembley. However, he has insisted that the players regroup themselves and return hungrier in their next matches.

Guardiola further explained that Manchester City did not look “ready enough” to play in the semi-final, but admitted that the players tried to make a comeback in the second half.

“We know the standards we need at this stage of competitions. I don’t have to tell them,” Guardiola said as quoted on the official website of Manchester City.

“They have to know it. They feel it, I think. Maybe we are learning, maybe now, we will see.

“The first half was not good, and we struggled to play at our level. It doesn’t take a genius to know we have to increase the standard for Madrid,” he added.

As expected, Manchester City dominated the ball possession and looked threatening inside Arsenal’s half. But the disciplined defense set-up of Arsenal proved equal to the task.

It paid dividends to the Mikel Arteta’s team as they took City by a surprise with a clinical counter-attack. It resulted in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring in the 19th minute to put Arsenal ahead, much to everyone’s surprise.

Instead of the urgency that one expects from a team like City after conceding, the viewers watching the match were graced by an Arsenal team that looked far more in control after taking the lead.

City started the second half with a much clearer intent and looked hungry for an equaliser. But as the stars for the day conspired, Aubameyang proved detrimental to their cause again. He ran through and put the ball cleanly past Ederson to double Arsenal’s lead.

“Sometimes it happens. It’s an incredible run but in football you can lose. But the way we lost is what we are sad about,” the City boss said.

“We didn’t make a good performance; we were not ready enough.

“If you don’t play for 90 minutes in a semi-final this can happen.

“The only regret is that we didn’t play the first half like we played the second one. We had to change the set-up but we couldn’t do it.

“But the situation is in the first half we struggled to play. That’s why we lost the game.

“If you play the first half the way we did in second, maybe it would have been different. But we couldn’t do it.”