Hart - We are to blame
Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart felt they only had themselves to blame after a heart-breaking 3-2 defeat to Real Madrid.
Last Updated: 19/09/12 7:28am
Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart felt the Premier League champions only had themselves to blame after a heart-breaking 3-2 defeat to Real Madrid.
Roberto Mancini's men were six minutes away from a memorable victory at Santiago Bernabeu before a late turnaround saw them lose out in their UEFA Champions League opener.
Former Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed the winner in stoppage time after having an effort beaten away by the inspired Hart - one of several fine saves by the keeper - moments earlier.
Hart admitted in his post-match TV interview: "You can't go 2-1 up with five minutes to go and lose the game. Who else can we blame? We can only blame ourselves.
"We dug deep, got a lead twice and we lost it, so we can only blame ourselves.
"It's hard to come off the field after losing 3-2 and be positive. I'm really sorry.
"We're not a team that should come here and pat ourselves on the back for doing well. We're a team that gets results."
While Hart's comments might have been an honest appraisal of the match, manager Mancini felt he should keep such remarks to himself.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Mancini said: "Joe Hart should stay as goalie and finish.
"If anyone should criticise the team, I should criticise the team, not Joe Hart."
City were second best for most of a compelling Group D clash but remained on level terms - mostly thanks to Hart - until Edin Dzeko fired them into the lead against the run of play after 68 minutes.
Marcelo converted one of a number of chances to level but City looked like snatching victory when Xabi Alonso's outstretched boot was unable to prevent Aleksandar Kolarov's 84th-minute free-kick from out wide bouncing in.
But the hosts produced a rousing finale and Karim Benzema equalised from the edge of the area before Ronaldo had the final say.