Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola was far from happy after his 10-man team earned a last-gasp 3-2 victory over Schalke 04 in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie on Wednesday.
City scored twice in the last four minutes to turn the game around after leading 1-0 but then conceding two penalties in seven minutes.
“It was a great result. We gave the first penalty, we gave the second penalty, we gave the red card, so that is not good,” Guardiola told reporters.
“So still we are not ready to fight for the final stages (of the competition). That is the reality. We played good but we lost some easy balls, which you are not allowed to do in this competition. And we conceded two penalties.”
City looked in complete control when Sergio Aguero put them ahead in the 18th minute but by the end of the first half they were inexplicably trailing 2-1 after conceding the penalties, both converted by Nabil Bentaleb.
Guardiola’s players had to dig deep at the end of game to score twice through Leroy Sane’s sublime free kick in the 86th minute and Raheem Sterling’s winner four minutes later.
“It was like last season at Anfield (against Liverpool) when we lost 3-0. We gave away two goals when they (Schalke) didn’t do absolutely anything… The game was quite good at the end (with) the quality from Leroy. The big players win you this kind of game.”
City’s Champions League record is far less illustrious than their recent Premier League one, having reached the semi-finals only once – during the 2015-16 campaign.
“We have been through some difficult patches this season,” said Sterling. “Not every game is going to be 2 or 3-0. We are going to be under pressure in the Champions League but we stuck with it and got our reward.”
“We have got the leg at home. We have got to go and look at ourselves and be better than tonight.”