Coach Guardiola unhappy with 'really poor' City

Sports | 9 Mar 2018

Pep Guardiola labelled Manchester City's second-half performance against Basel as "really, really poor" and said their possession play had been largely pointless in their 2-1 defeat in their last-16 second leg.

City advanced to the quarter-finals 5-2 on aggregate thanks to their 4-0 first-leg win in Switzerland, but while Guardiola fielded a weakened side at the Etihad Stadium he was still unhappy with their first home loss in over a year.

City completed 978 passes, the most recorded by a side in a Champions League match since such statistics began being recorded in 2003, but Guardiola was not impressed.

"The first half was quite good but in the second half we forgot to attack, we forgot to play," Guardiola said. "When we pass the ball we do it to move through the opponents to attack - just to pass the ball for itself is nothing and the second half was really really poor."

The result ended a 36-game unbeaten run for City at home in all competitions and the Spaniard acknowledged that his team selection had impacted the outcome after he chose to leave key players on the bench. Gabriel Jesus fires City ahead in the eighth minute but Basel drew level nine minutes later thanks to Mohamed Elyounoussi's goal before Michael Lang blasted past Claudio Bravo in the 72nd minute.

Guardiola did have some positive words for 17-year-old midfielder Phil Foden, who delivered a confident display in a rare start.

REUTERS

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