Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Arteta Rues Sloppy City's 'Cheap' Defeat Against Lyon

Arteta Rues Sloppy City's 'Cheap' Defeat Against Lyon

Mikel Arteta denied complacency was behind Manchester City's shock defeat by Lyon as they paid a heavy price for Pep Guardiola's touchline ban.

City pulled one back in the 67th when Bernardo Silva scored from substitute Leroy Sane's cutback.

Pressed further on how close he came to getting the Arsenal job, Arteta continued: 'I didn't talk on that moment two, three months ago, and I didn't make any statement, and I don't think today is the day to talk about it.

In contrast to a flat-looking City, Bruno Genesio's Lyon delivered a tactically superb display, defending in numbers to nullify City's normally unsafe forward line and then counter-attacking at pace. We played well. We had more chances to score goals.

After struggling to find a goal in the opening stages of the second half, City introduced Sergio Aguero for the in-effective Gabriel Jesus in the 63rd minute.

Olympique Lyonnais' Maxwel Cornet in action with Manchester City's Fabian Delph during the Champions League Group F game on Sept 19 2018
UEFA Champions League match report Manchester City v Lyon 19 September 2018

"From my point of view, it's a tough group, I never thought it was going to be easy and Lyon showed that", Fernandinho told reporters. "The only reality is that we lost the game".

Arteta would not be drawn on whether Guardiola's absence from the touchline had any influence on an unusually disappointing performance by the champions of England.

"We saw two very different halves".

The Premier League champions, favourites with some bookmakers to win Europe's top club competition this season, were well below their best throughout and now face a serious challenge to progress from a group which also features Germany's Hoffenheim and Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk.

The near miss sparked City back into life with two neat moves leading to Delph getting shots away from the edge of the area, the second of which was well dealt with by Lopes down to his right. "We felt under threat every time we lost the ball, that can bring the confidence lower", said Arteta, who said his players were certainly fired up for the game as they seek to improve on last year's quarter-final loss to Liverpool.

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