Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has revealed his frustration about his side’s continuing struggles in the Champions League.
Despite being overwhelming favourites, City fell to a shock 3-1 loss to Lyon in Saturday’s quarter-final, leaving 2015/16’s run to the semi-final as the only time City have ever reached the last four of the competition.
After a slow start which saw City trail 1-0 at half time, De Bruyne snatched a goal back after the break to give City some hope, but a poor end to the game saw Moussa Dembélé net twice either side of a horror miss from Raheem Sterling to gift Lyon the win.
“It’s a different year, but the same stuff. I think the first half wasn’t good enough. I think we know that,” De Bruyne told BT Sport after the game. “We started slowly and we didn’t have many options. I think second half we played really well.
“We had them under pressure, we played more offensively, like we normally do, and I think we had them. We created enough second half to score enough goals but we need to learn, it’s not good enough.
“This team is great but we made too many mistakes. It’s what we’ve done all year.”
Despite De Bruyne’s admission of City’s shortcoming, the defeat will still be shrouded in controversy as Lyon’s second goal was awarded despite an inadvertent trip from goalscorer Dembélé on Aymeric Laporte, who was left on the turf and unable to chase back.
The defender took to Twitter after the game to condemn the decision, writing: “Just to be clear: I will not hide, 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.”
His frustration was shared by manager Pep Guardiola, although the Spaniard used his post-match interview to focus on City’s mistakes instead of any refereeing decisions.
“It happened many times in this competition. It is what it is, the referee and VAR decided,” he said. “I don’t want to talk about the circumstances. It looks like I am complaining or finding causes. We are out.
“I had the feeling we were ready but we make mistakes. That’s why we are out.”