De Bruyne: ‘Different year, same stuff’ as Man City crash out of UCL

Man City - Champions League
Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Man City – Champions League disappointment: Kevin De Bruyne has spoken the collective mind of Manchester City fans the world over following his side’s latest UCL quarterfinal failure, this time bowing out to Lyon on Saturday.

[ MORE: Three things learned from Lyon’s upset of Man City ]

It was the third straight year Man City have crashed out in the quarterfinals under Pep Guardiola (they were eliminated in the round of 16 during his first season in charge), which is an all-too-familiar tale as far as De Bruyne is concerned.

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Full quote after Man City – Champions League elimination, from the Guardian:

“Different year, same stuff. The first half wasn’t good enough, I think we know that. We started slow. But second half we played really well, came back 1-1 and had a couple of chances. And then 2-1 and 3-1 ends the game, and it’s shame for us to go out that way.

“I have not seen [the Laporte-Dembele tangle] back, but whatever they decide, they decide. I’m not going to blame that, we should have done better.

“Even at 2-1 if [Sterling] scores the goal it’s 2-2 and the game goes on. But that’s football, the fine margins that make the difference. We need to learn, man. It’s not good enough, and that’s it. It’s time to go home, it’s been a long season. I need to go home anyway because my wife is expecting any moment, so I have something to focus on personally … but yeah, it’s hard.”

City have no one to blame but themselves this time. The lineup was wrong from the start; they struggled to create scoring chance for the first hour of the game; they let their concentration slip on multiple occasions, most notably after pulling back to level terms at 1-1; and they looked mentally defeated the second Lyon went 2-1 ahead.

And still, Raheem Sterling had one of the easiest chances he’ll ever see in his career, and he put it over the bar from six yards out with an empty net in front of him. “It’s just not City’s year” is quickly turning into “it’s just not City’s competition.”