Bacary Sagna believes Manchester City have blown a golden opportunity to prove they are the best team in England this season.
City flew out of the blocks to win their opening five league matches without conceding a goal, threatening to turn the title race into a procession.
But, despite individual brilliance from the likes of Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne, City have rarely threatened to recapture their early season form, falling away as Leicester City completed their memorable march to glory.
Aguero and De Bruyne scored superb goals against Arsenal on Sunday but City were pegged back twice after leading to draw 2-2 – meaning their fate in terms of Champions League qualification is no longer in their hands.
If Manchester United win their remaining matches against West Ham and AFC Bournemouth, League Cup winners City will be playing Europa League football when Pep Guardiola takes over from Manuel Pellegrini next season – irrespective of their result at Swansea City on the final day.
"It's very disappointing, especially the way we started the season," said Sagna, who has dislodged the injury hit Pablo Zabaleta to become City's first-choice right-back this term.
"We are to blame. We had everything in our hands to be the best and I believe if we play like we did against Arsenal we are the best team.
"We have to play like this all season. But this is the past now and we have to keep our heads up and get the three points against Swansea.
"I am sure West Ham are going to be giving the maximum because they will want to qualify for the Europa League, too. Now it's not in our hands any more, but we have to give everything."
Sagna also expressed regret that City were unable to secure victory in Pellegrini's final match in charge at the Etihad Stadium, with the Chilean left to conduct a barely audible speech in front of a sparse collection of fans who remained from a capacity crowd for a post-match lap of honour.
"We wanted to win for him as well," the France international added.
"It was his last home game and he has done a lot for the club, managed to come and give the team some trophies. We could have won three points against a good team."
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