Weston McKennie: We played with real heart
The Royal Blues were all disappointed after the 3-2 defeat to Manchester City. The S04 players were frustrated with the unnecessary goals conceded but were happy with the side’s performance. schalke04de. has summarised the reactions.
Obviously, we are disappointed; you hope for a better result when you are 2-1 ahead so late on. The game went our way a lot today, which hasn’t happened a lot this season. Two penalties and red card went our way. It was fun to coach this team today. Our fans were in the game and spurred us on.
The team found a good balance and gave their all. They won tackles, which subsequently gave us confidence. We didn’t always convert our possession into counter attacks though. We have to be cleverer in the coming weeks. We lost possession too many times and it’s important that we learn from this.
We started well and showed we can do early on. We could have gone ahead earlier than we did. Schalke have the ability to score goals without having many chances and we saw that today. The statistics showed that we clearly had more shots. We didn’t show we can do for the whole game though. We won’t reach the final stages of this competition if we don’t start improving.
Leroy’s free-kick was incredible; he trains on them a lot. 3-2 is a good result, however we must remember that we are not yet in the quarter-finals. We are in a good position to qualify now. I cannot argue with the referee’s decisions tonight. I am a big fan of VAR.
We showed today that we are a team that can compete with the likes of Manchester City. We had good phases of possession, created chances and played with heart. We should be winning this game, or at least drawing. Every defeat is frustrating, but when you’re 2-1 up with a man advantage, it’s all the more frustrating to go on to lose. We have to keep our heads up now, look forward and hopefully take three points home from Mainz this weekend. Then we’ll give it absolutely everything we’ve got again in Manchester.
We are very disappointed about the result, because we were in the game and definitely deserved more. We got the crowd behind us, it was an unreal atmosphere in the ground today which really got us in the mood. It’s just a shame how we conceded the goals – we managed to keep them away from our goal from open play. It was just like against Bayern; we conceded goals due to our own mistakes in build-up play. If a small player like Raheem Sterling pushes me, it won’t be deemed a foul. Had it been Nils Petersen last weekend, someone who has a similar build to me, it probably would have been a foul. It’s a shame. We set up against Man City really well, held our own and stayed compact, even pressed them at the back at times. We were good in possession as well, which allowed us to catch our breath. There was a lot more in it for us. We saw, however, that we can compete with a team like this and need to be just as organised and aggressive in Manchester. We had good chances on the counter today, we saw that Man City are vulnerable. Obviously the situation isn’t a good one now going into the second leg, but we will throw everything at it.