Pep Guardiola was angry with his attacking players for losing to Arsenal in Saturday’s FA Cup, not the defence who made a few errors.
Watching on this week as Arsenal beat both Liverpool and Manchester City, it was made extra special by the fact that both sides made massive defensive mistakes, something we’re only too used to seeing from Arsenal.
But Guardiola refused to blame his defenders, some £350m-worth of talent and, instead, turned on his attackers.
“The defence was not a problem,” Guardiola said.
“There were counter attacks and we made a mistake for one but it was not a problem. How many counter attacks did they use, maybe one or two? No more than this.
“It was not about the tactics. I’m not sure how many chances we had. Possession is part of it but it’s how many chances you create through the possession.
“In the first half we were not there, we were not ready for a semi-final of the FA Cup.
“They have to (motivate themselves),” he shrugged. “As managers, we are not here to motivate them or tell them what to do. They have to do it. What they’ve done in the past is incredible but this was an FA Cup semi-final. We have to play the whole 90 minutes and we played just 45.
“In the first half everything was sloppy and not the right rhythm for this kind of game, when you want to reach a final.
“I don’t have to tell them. They should feel it. They know it. They know the standards we need at these stages. Bournemouth (last Wednesday) was not good and this first half was not good.
“We’re struggling to play at our level. You don’t have to be a genius to realise that we need to raise our level against Real Madrid.
“The Premier League is already done and we’ve been playing for nothing.”
Ilkay Gundogan, added: “It looked like Arsenal wanted it more to go to the final, which was the most frustrating part.”
Arsenal will now face Chelsea in the FA Cup final on 1 August.