Pep Guardiola is solely to blame for Manchester City’s disastrous defeat to Lyon in the Champions League on Wednesday night, according to Adrian Clarke. The Premier League champions conceded two sloppy goals and were unable to find an equaliser as they slipped to a 2-1 opening group game defeat at the Etihad.
While much has been made of the lacklustre performances by the players and the lack of spectators in the stadium, former Arsenal man Clarke feels former Barcelona boss Guardiola is to blame. The Spaniard received a UEFA touchline ban for comments made about officials in the quarter-final defeat against Liverpool last season, and Clarke feels the Citizens duly suffered.
“If anyone is to blame for this defeat, it’s Pep Guardiola and I’ll tell you why,” he said on talkSPORT 2. “He shouldn’t have lost his rag last season against Liverpool with the officials! If he had kept his composure then, he’d have been in the dressing room then and he might have been able to use his undoubted charisma, the qualities he brings. “Instead he’s stuck up in the stands unable to effect things, so he’s more culpable than the supporters who didn’t turn up.
“And obviously the players – the decision making for the goals was really bad. “The second one is a goal that typifies the entire season so far, not just for City, but for England, for Arsenal, all of these clubs that want to play out from the back.
“Laporte gives the ultimate hospital pass for me into Fernandinho – he had three players descending on him! “He does not want it, but he gives it to him, the ball is turned over and seconds later Lyon score. You’ve got to be smarter than that if you’re Manchester City.