At the end of a week in which his Manchester City team suffered three defeats at the hands of English rivals, Pep Guardiola was in the unusual position of being on the defensive after they were eliminated from the Champions League by Liverpool.
The damage to City’s European ambitions had been done six days earlier at Anfield where they were beaten 3-0, but there was still an anguished look to the Spaniard after the 2-1 home loss in Tuesday’s quarter-final second leg.
Runaway Premier League leaders City have conceded eight goals in those three games and threw away a two-goal lead in the Manchester derby which they lost 3-2 to visiting United.
While they have also played some brilliant football in all those matches, there is no doubt this week has taken some of the shine off a wonderful season which, sooner or later, will result in the English league title.
“Over the course of eleven months you have ups and downs,” Guardiola said after Tuesday’s loss to Liverpool.