Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Pep Guardiola's absence not to blame for Manchester City loss - Mikel Arteta

Pep Guardiola's absence not to blame for Manchester City loss - Mikel Arteta

"[The favourites] has to be Real Madrid, they have something special for this competition and they deal with every detail better than everyone else".

Manchester City's Champions League campaign got off to a poor start as the Premier League champions suffered a surprise defeat against Lyon at the Etihad Stadium.

Assistant manager Arteta was taking charge of City in place of Guardiola, who was watching from the stands due to a touchline ban carried over from last year's Champions League.

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Not a good start, but there is still plenty to play for.

"Exactly the same as normal, the only difference is Pep isn't allowed to be with us today".

"If Pep had been on the touchline I couldn't tell you whether we would have won 5-0 or lost 3-0". People think we are candidates to compete against other teams in Europe. "We would have taken 2-2 before the match but given the way the game went we'd have been disappointed not to leave with the three points".

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The Spaniard, who was linked to the coach's job at Arsenal in the close season before the London club appointed Unai Emery as Arsene Wenger's successor, also said he wanted to make the step up to manager in the future. "That happens nearly every half-time, it is not a new thing, we just had to try and improve what we were doing". He was a terrific player and he spends a lot of time with us.

Perhaps the only reason for City to feel aggrieved in the first half was Gabriel Jesus being denied a penalty when he was tripped by former Manchester United defender Rafael da Silva just before Depay scored.

"The decision was made and I am so happy the decision was made", he said (via The Mirror). "He wouldn't choose it but this is what's happening, I'm here to try to do my best".

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City striker Sergio Aguero looked to have overcome his ankle knock as he trained ahead of the game but left-back Benjamin Mendy did not feature due to a knee problem.

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