There are a lot of comforting statistics around for Manchester City fans following their Semi Final defeat to Arsenal.
Usually they centre upon how it is Manchester City’s first domestic cup defeat in over 2 years, but the limp nature of the team display will linger far longer than fluffy statistics.
City put out their best eleven and they did not gel or press. The unit did not function and the lack of pace, intensity and rhythmn was laid bare.
Of course much credit should go to ex Assistant Manager Mikel Arteta and how he sought to control the spaces on the pitch. Without doubt the Arsenal tactics made City’s game plan harder, but the issue was that we hardly tried.
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Usually there are moments in matches where the City crowd can stir the team into action and wake them from slumber, but behind closed doors there is no such salvation.
It was left to Pep to shout his players from a stupor but even he was reduced to quietly sitting on the bench, safe in the knowledge that City were gone.
From the kick off a few things were apparent. There was a relaxed feeling and players usually noted for accuracy suddenly found their passing radar had been disconnected.
Laporte and De Bruyne struggled. Gundogan did not touch the ball and at no point did we really earn an opportunity to score.
Arsenal laboured and did well to snuff out City. Taking both their chances well, Aubameyang looks well worth putting in a cheeky offer for given his contract dispute at Arsenal.
City looked better in the second half but that was not difficult. They still laboured without coherent ideas and lacked precision and pace in key moments.
For some members of the squad this may be a turning point as we look to refresh. Failing to do so at this point would be consigning next season to a similar outcome.
Even taking that into account we still had to witness a curious spectacle as we attempted to cross the ball into their area repeatedly when our players were a good foot shorter than theirs.
The persistence with an approach that was not working and increasingly seemed like pure desperation made no sense. The tactical masterclass we all hoped for did not arrive.
The annoying thing here is that this was a limp capitulation in a competition which was eminently winnable. No matter how you look at it, this was not a good sign for the games ahead.
The display against Liverpool seems months ago but we quickly need to rediscover those performance levels if we are to have any chance against Real Madrid.