LONDON • A clearly furious Manuel Pellegrini described Manchester City's 4-1 defeat by Liverpool as "a complete disaster" before claiming he had never seen his side play as badly.
"Today we did it all wrong - the performance, the way we defended, the way we went forward. It was a fake night, a fake game," he said in a television interview.
"It is difficult to understand. If we meant to do it on purpose, we couldn't have done it that badly. We tried to make changes and have some options to score. We tried to fight, but continued making so many mistakes with the ball.
PAIN OF DEFEAT
I will not explain the starting XI... but this performance was not normal, we could have conceded three or four more.
MANUEL PELLEGRINI , City manager
"In defence, in attack and in possession I have never seen my team play in the way they played tonight. It was not one name or another name who was to blame, it was the whole team. I was not happy with the performance of all 11 players. It was a complete disaster."
Pellegrini withdrew his captain, Yaya Toure, at half-time and switched his midfield in an attempt to get back into the game, though City never looked like recovering from a 3-1 half-time deficit.
"We tried to play in a different way in the second half, to press higher, but the result was exactly the same," he admitted. "When you play so badly in all areas of the pitch it is impossible to expect anything from the game."
"I will not explain the starting XI, I would pick the same one again, but this performance was not normal, we could have conceded three or four more.
"It was not our night and we have to turn the situation around quickly because we have an important game (against Juventus in the Champions League) on Wednesday night."
Juergen Klopp, so despondent after losing at home to Crystal Palace two weeks before, did not feel nearly so alone after witnessing hundreds of City fans leaving the ground early.
"That result was very satisfying, and it was deserved," the Liverpool manager said. "I didn't feel it was possible to lose our last game, but we did, and now we have won the three points back."
THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE