Schalke 04 manager Domenico Tedesco believes Sergio Aguero’s penalty literally caused his side to fall apart following their 7-0 Champions League defeat.
The Royal Blues entered the second leg of their last-16 tie with City aware they only stood a “small chance” of overturning a 3-2 aggregate deficit from last month’s first-leg home defeat.
But what Tedesco’s side weren’t prepared for was the 7-0 hammering they received from a dominant City at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night to exit the Champions League with a 10-2 aggregate loss.
Aguero’s 35th-minute penalty put City ahead with the Argentine striker finding the net again just three minutes later before Leroy Sane got his own name on the scoresheet as well.
The former Schalke star then assisted Raheem Sterling, Bernando Silva and Phil Foden’s goals to put City in a commanding lead in the second half.
Gabriel Jesus then handed a final blow to Schalke with a late curling effort in the final six minutes of normal time.
Speaking after his team’s humbling defeat, Tedesco stated that Schalke had actually got off to a relatively good start before Aguero’s penalty changed the tide of the game.
“We are extremely disappointed about the match and the scoreline. Only one team enjoyed tonight’s game,” said Tedesco on the club website.
“We did alright in the first half an hour. Our plan was to not allow them any space and chances early on and then attack them in the second half.
“We then conceded a penalty, which didn’t have to be given. After that we just collapsed. Tonight I experienced the biggest capitulation as a coach. We made mistakes that you can’t afford to make against Man City.
“We switched to a diamond formation at the start of the second half, with which we wanted to give ourselves a better grip on the game and show a different side to our game, but we noticed very quickly that Man City were outplaying us.”
After finishing runners-up last season, Schalke will now return their full focus back to their disastrous Bundesliga campaign which sees them down in 14th-place at the moment.
The German side will next host RB Leipzig at the VELTINS-Arena on Saturday with Tedesco urging his players to get over what happened at City quickly.
He added: “We need to make sure we muster up our strengths again quickly, recuperate and move forward. We need to get this game out of our heads quickly and focus on Leipzig.
“One thing is certain: We will not give up. If we don’t believe in ourselves now, then who will?”