Mikel Arteta won’t blame Guardiola’s ban for Manchester City defeat

Mikel Arteta won’t blame Guardiola’s ban for Manchester City defeat

"I wouldn't change the players for any others".

"It's a surprise to be made favourites when there is a team out there that has won the competition three times in a row", Arteta added.

Manchester City take on Lyon in their Champions League opener on Wednesday - a game in which Arteta will take charge as Guardiola will not be allowed any contact with the players inside the stadium.

Guardiola, City's inspirational manager, will hand over first-team duties for the visit of Lyon to his number two as he serves a touchline ban for his sending-off against Liverpool last season.

"We started slow and we were not consistent in the way we were trying to play".

"The reality is Pep was not here and we lost the game", said the Spaniard.

DeSean Jackson: Ryan Fitzpatrick should remain starter over Jameis Winston
And he just might be playing his way into a few more starts even after Jameis Winston returns from his 3-game suspension. He passed for 417 yards and four touchdowns in the game, easily surpassing all expectations.

"I wouldn't like to use that as an excuse because we had that type of crowd in the Champions League before and we were able to win".

Arteta was close to replacing Arsene Wenger in the summer, only for Arsenal to have second thoughts because of his lack of managerial experience, turning instead to former Valencia, Sevilla and PSG coach Unai Emery. "I can't really explain why we began so slowly, but sometimes in a new competition it takes a while to get on track", he said.

A semi-final appearance in 2016 remains their best ever performance in the Champions League, a feat which Lyon can actually match as they reached the last-four back in 2010.

"We have a situation that we wouldn't choose, but we will do our best to make sure everything else is as normal as possible". "If you ask me in future will I become a coach the answer is probably yes but I'm really happy where I am and I think we're in a fantastic momentum now and there's still room for this club to grow".

The creativity was there for much of the match, and with Hoffenheim and Shakhtar Donetsk drawing, City is just in a one-point hole and will be favored to win its remaining matches.

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