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Pep Guardiola takes responsibility for Man City's FA Cup final loss

Manchester United shocked everyone with their inch-perfect tactics against City

Manchester City, the reigning Premier League champions, missed out on the opportunity to secure back-to-back doubles after a disappointing loss against Manchester United in the FA Cup final. The team's manager, Pep Guardiola, has taken full responsibility for this defeat.

Coming into the game with an impressive unbeaten run of 35 matches and closing the league season with nine straight wins, Manchester City was far from their best at Wembley. The team appeared disjointed for extended periods of the match, particularly during the first half. They lacked their usual oppressive hold over their opponents which has been a key factor in their recent success.

Half-time changes and improved performance

In response to City's sluggish performance in the first half of play, Pep Guardiola made a double substitution at halftime. This move saw Manuel Akanji and Jeremy Doku introduced into play. Following these changes, there was a noticeable improvement in City’s performance.

Jeremy Doku managed to get on the scoresheet but it wasn't enough to overturn United’s first-half strikes from Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie.

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City manager, said:

“The second half was much much better. We were more intense, in part because we were 2-0 down and had nothing to lose. It was a tight game. We gave away the first goal, they made a good transition for the second so credit to United for the second goal. We tried; we had clear chances in the second half which wasn't easy because they had man marking and defended the pockets. We had the chances and unfortunately we scored a goal a little bit late."

“Maybe it could have been different but the team was there like all the time when we lose. Disappointed today, it's normal teams can lose finals but this season has been extraordinary fighting for all the trophies in a good way."

Pep Guardiola’s blunder with tactics

Speaking after his side's loss at Wembley Stadium, Pep Guardiola accepted blame for his team’s defeat against Manchester United. He attributed it not to his players' performances but rather his own tactical approach which he admitted fell short.

"I think my game plan was not good," claimed Guardiola post-match. This statement indicates that he believes that different tactics could have potentially led to a different outcome for cityzens.

Pep Guardiola added:

“For my decisions we were not in the right positions to attack them. My mistake, my game plan was not good. I was not good today, you plan a game for different positions but it didn't work. Even with that, we arrive two or three times in the final third and byline and made nothing from crosses.”

The FA Cup final defeat marks an unfortunate end to what had otherwise been an impressive season for Manchester City under Pep Guardiola's leadership. However, as any sports fan knows well - every loss is also an opportunity for learning and growth. Guardiola's acceptance of responsibility for the defeat is a testament to his leadership and commitment to continually improving his team's performance.

For sports betting fans, this game serves as a reminder that even the most successful teams can have off days, and that unpredictability is part of what makes sports so exciting. As Manchester City regroups and refocuses for their next season, it will be interesting to see how they bounce back from this setback.

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