The side that seemed a fortress at home finally tasted defeat, as Man City were held to a 2-1 defeat by Basel in the second leg of their Champions League tie.
Having secured a 4-0 victory in the away leg, City were in minimum danger of being eliminated, and certainly wouldn’t have expected a defeat.
Goals from Mohamed Elyounoussi and Holger Lang canceled Gabriel Jesus’s early effort and ensured that Basel, while eliminated from the European competition, will join the small cluster of teams that have been able to trump the Citizens this season.
However, as defeats often go, managers are not happy. And when the gaffer in question is Pep Guardiola and the defeat in question ends a 15-month long unbeaten streak at home, surely some sore words are evident.
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Clearly having expected his side to see the fixture through, the former Barcelona manager had this to say in his post-match conference: “From tomorrow, we will be happy to qualify for the quarter-finals for the second time for this club. The first half was quite good.”
However, it is what he went on to say that narrated an apt story of the game: “But in the second half we forgot to attack, we forgot to play, to pass the ball. Just to pass the ball without movement, to pass and pass for its own sake is nothing. The second half was really, really poor.”
He added: “It’s not easy to play when the first leg was 0-4. We tried and we spoke about that. We created a lot of chances in the first half, but after 1-1 in the second half, the best way is to create the passes in the build-up to run in behind. It just didn’t happen. We just passed for its own sake. That’s not football.”
While the defeat won’t do tremendous damage to the side, particularly since they have already qualified for the next stage, it’s the message it sends that might be a bit of a bother. With big names still in the competition watching, it was shown that City too, can bleed.