Champions League: Mikel Arteta weighs in on Manchester City’s opening day loss to Olympique Lyon

Manchester City suffered a home defeat in the first match of the Champions League campaign.


Defending Premier League Champions Manchester City suffered a shocking 2-1 defeat at home to French opposition Olympique Lyon in their opening UEFA Champions League match last night.

Coming into their Champions League opener against Lyon, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City got off to a great start in the ongoing Premier League season, having already compiled a total of 13 points from their opening five games of the season.

Embed from Getty Images

However, last night, disaster finally struck in the blue half of Manchester, as a resilient performance from Bruno Genesio’s Lyon ended City’s unbeaten run to the season. First-half goals from Maxwel Cornet and long-term Liverpool FC target Nabil Fekir eventually proved to be the turning point of the match and despite a 67th-minute opening goal from Bernardo Silva, the defending Premier League Champions were pinned down to a final scoreline of 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Following City’s disappointing loss, assistant Manchester City coach Mikel Arteta claimed that despite the poor attendance at the Etihad Stadium last night, he and his team cannot blame the City fans, given the fact that The Sky Blues have won several games in the past with such poor home attendance.

“We have had this type of crowd in the Champions League before and we were able to win the game. If you ask me what is the ideal scenario, it is to have a full stadium every time, people supporting the team and being behind the team like crazy. We know in this competition that some weeks it doesn’t happen. But I don’t think that’s an excuse for the result,” Mikel Arteta stated following City’s loss.

Embed from Getty Images

Additionally, Arteta also discussed the absence of Pep Guardiola from the sideline and noted that his team initially started-off the Lyon game in a very slow pace and eventually paid the price for it.

“The reality is Pep was not here and we lost the game. If Pep had been on the touchline I couldn’t tell you whether we would have won 5-0 or lost 3-0. We started slow and we were not consistent in the way we were trying to play. We lost many duels and at this level you pay the price for that,” The Spaniard added.

Photo by Chaquetadepollo.