Pep Guardiola has admitted full responsibility for Manchester City’s drop in form which has seen them knocked out of the Champions League at the hands of Monaco this week.
City took a two-goal advantage to France but lost 3-1 after Guardiola’s decision to go attacking against the Ligue 1 leaders backfired.
Guardiola was furious with how his players carried themselves during the game immediately after the final whistle but has since calmed and opted to say that the defeat and subsequent exit, was down to decisions made by him.
Monaco vs Manchester City player ratings
Monaco vs Manchester City player ratings
1/22 Danijel Subašić 8 out of 10
Had very little to do in the first-half but made some very important stops in the second, including a fine reaction stop to deny Aguero after the forward had raced through on goal.
2/22 Djibril Sidibé 7
Not quite as impressive as Mendy, but made a nuisance of himself whenever he got forward and largely kept the in-form Leroy Sane quiet.
3/22 Andrea Raggi 6
Imperious in the first-half, ran ragged in the second. At 32, he was always going to struggle against the pace of Sane but his positioning also let him down as City flooded forward late on.
4/22 Jemerson 6
Overplayed the ball on occasions and often guilty of making needlessly ambitious passes when there was a more simple option available. Did very well in the air though and denied Raheem Sterling in the second-half with a superb tackle.
5/22 Benjamin Mendy 8
The man of the match. No defender has more assists in this year’s Champions League than the 22-year-old. Dominated Sagna going forward. Dominated Sterling staying back.
6/22 Bernardo Silva 8
A typically bright performance from the forward. Always comfortable in possession and a threat whenever he picked up the ball and looked to play in one of Monaco’s forwards.
7/22 Fabinho 7
Took his goal very well, beating Caballero with a composed, first-time finish. Made a number of crucial tackles and interceptions, too.
8/22 Tiemoué Bakayoko 7
Not the 22-year-old’s finest performance with a number of his passes went awry, but what does that matter? Scored the winning goal, pouncing on an error from Kolarov to nod pass Caballero at close-range.
9/22 Thomas Lemar 7
A bright start from the winger who overlapped nicely with the excellent Mendy. It was his well-taken free-kick which led to Monaco’s pivotal third goal.
10/22 Valère Germain 7
Offered more of a physical threat than his strike partner. Won a number of his aerial duels with Kolarov and unlucky to see a long-range strike whistle over the bar in the first-half.
11/22 Kylian Mbappé 8
Hard to believe he is only 18. Took his goal with confidence and terrorised the City defence with his direct running.
12/22 Willy Caballero 6
Cannot really be blamed for any of Monaco’s goals. Always quick off his life and dealt with Monaco’s aerial threat well, confidently punching clear on a number of occasions.
13/22 Bacary Sagna 5
His lack of pace was ruthlessly exploited by the fantastic Mendy. Was guilty of wandering out of position for Monaco’s second goal.
14/22 John Stones 5
Should have done better with Monaco’s second-goal, when he was pulled out of position by Lemar. His partnership with Kolarov does not look convincing.
15/22 Aleksander Kolarov 5
Struggled against the pace of Mbappe, the strength of Germain and utterly at fault for the crucial third goal.
16/22 Gael Clichy 6
One of the few City players to venture out of his half early on. But his distribution was lacklustre and, like Sagna, he struggled to stop his opposition full-back from raiding forward.
17/22 Fernandinho 6
Preferred by Guardiola to Yaya Toure for his greater energy, but as City’s only defensive midfielder, spent much of the game chasing shadows.
18/22 David Silva 6
Completely overshadowed by his namesake in the midfield. Grew into the game and one of City’s better players in the second-half, but will be disappointed with his display.
19/22 Kevin De Bruyne 6
Did better for City when he dropped deep and played in Sterling with a superb through-ball in the second-half, which the winger failed to take advantage of.
20/22 Raheem Sterling 6
Largely ineffectual although he did turn Mendy in the second-half, leading to Sane scoring City’s only goal.
21/22 Leroy Sane 7
Ineffectual in the first-half, City’s best player in the second. Scored their only goal and twice put it on a platter for Sergio Aguero, who endured a night to forget.
22/22 Sergio Aguero 4
One of the Argentinian’s poorest performances in a City shirt. Missed a hatful of chances in the second-half.
“I am fully responsible for the performances,” he said. “If you ask me about the first half, I am not so happy. About the second half, I am so happy.
“Of course I am responsible but in the end the decision to bring me here, to live that experience and the people deciding to carry on here, doesn’t depend on me. It depends on the people in charge.
“Sometimes you make a question with easy answers – I am the manager and I am responsible for absolutely everything that happens.
“I tried to convince the players to play in the first half in a different way and I was not able.
“So I am not going to say ‘why did you not follow my instructions’. I am responsible.”
When it was announced, nearly 12 months ago, that Guardiola was to replace Manuel Pellegrini as City’s manager, it was widely thought that he was the final piece in the club’s quest for world domination.
However, a mid-season slump in form saw them drop out of the title race and Wednesday’s defeat saw them fall out of Europe too, meaning the FA Cup is City’s only chance of silverware this season.
And Guardiola rejected suggestions that him not mopping up titles already is a failure and insisted he never thought it would be as easy as people claimed and it is up to the owners to decide if they are satisfied with his decisions or not.
“People believe Pep is sitting here so now they are going to win the title. Easy. You are wrong,” he added.
“I never said we are going to win one title, I never said I was going to win the treble, I never said I was going to win the double. I never said that.
“I never said that in my first day at Barcelona, sitting there. I promised a lot of work. Few guys can beat me at that. I work. I am so proud of that. But I never promise titles, never in my life.
“The boss, the chairman, the Sporting Director, they are going to decide what’s the best for the club. It depends, of course, my job and it depends on winning titles or not and if we’re not winning titles they judge me about the results. If it’s not good they are going to say bye-bye.”