Manchester City full-back Bacary Sagna attempted to deflect criticism away from young team-mates Jason Denayer and Cameron Humphreys after Friday’s 4-1 loss to Real Madrid.
Humphreys, just 16, was thrown in at the deep end for his first senior City appearance, tasked with shackling Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema.
Real tore through City's inexperienced defence time and again in the first half at the MCG as the Spanish capital club raced away to a 3-1 lead at the break.
But Sagna claimed City's entire line-up deserved the blame for their poor start.
"It was difficult for everyone on the pitch, you know, when we're not synchronised on the pitch, it can make it difficult and tonight we faced great players," the France international said.
"We have to congratulate them [Real] because they did really well.
"They played really well and I think we still have some stuff to learn, to get better and I'm confident in the team, I'm confident in the players we have, even the young players. Up until now they did well and even tonight, I think we lost as a team.
"We're working hard because in two weeks the season starts and we still have time to talk to each other and communicate a bit more.
"Today we have to stay positive, we have to learn from what happened tonight and tomorrow is another day. We still have some time to adjust what we have to."
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