Gael Clichy has insisted the players should be deemed the failure for their exit in the Champions League at the hands of AS Monaco, and not Guardiola. City were eliminated on the away goal ruling after the contest was tied 6-6 on aggregate – despite City winning their home game 5-3.

Clichy confirmed the players went against Guardiola’s game plan during the clash with Monaco and ultimately cost themselves a place in the last eight, despite being the more fancied side. Unsurprinslgy, the team’s exit has witnessed Guardiola receive the brunt of the criticism but now the 31-year-old defender has set the record straight.

The Frenchman said: ‘He never told us to play deep, so of course we have to take responsibility for that. Since he took over at the club his philosophy is to go forward, to press the team we’re playing, to win the ball high up the field and then pass the ball to a player who can be creative and make something happen and we just didn’t do it.

‘Willy (Caballero) made a great save in the first eight minutes and I just felt that first part of the game set the momentum, and it was not for us. We tried to react but they have quality and we suffered.

‘We came back strongly in the second half and could have killed the game with those three or four chances in 20 minutes but we didn’t do it.

‘It’s a big disappointment. When we play like the manager wants we can create problems for any team and if we’d started the game like we did the second half it could have been different.

‘But we have to look forward to Liverpool (on Sunday) now because the season is not finished. We can win something still this year so we have to believe and finish strongly.’

‘Of course when you don’t win games people will talk and everyone has his own opinion.

‘We are strong mentally but it’s never easy to come back into a game when you start like we did.’



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