Let's get this straight.
Manchester City's FA Cup semi-final defeat has the potential to be a minor blip in an otherwise astoundingly successful season. They are almost over the line in the Premier League, one game away from winning the Carabao Cup and 180 minutes away from breaking new ground in the Champions League.
But the Chelsea loss also cannot be dismissed as a one-off when so many similar patterns were present.
To be fair to Pep Guardiola, he sees the players more than any of us and thought it necessary to make eight changes from the Champions League game with Dortmund, and it was a team stacked full of internationals and players that would like to think of themselves as world-class.
But had the manager taken a straw poll when the team news was announced at 4.30pm on Saturday he would have seen all of the criticisms that were levelled at him at full-time when he took such umbrage; playing an unfamiliar back five, a defensive midfield and a front three woefully lacking in confidence or form left the writing on the wall, and City got exactly what they deserved against a Chelsea side that was entirely beatable.
Having immediately railed against the idea that his side hadn't taken things seriously (and either confused the criticism of the one game as of the whole tournament or chosen to take it that way), he subsequently struggled in the second half of his press conference to stick to his policy of defending players while trying not to deliberately mislead.
A lengthy pause occurred when he was asked if he should be expecting more from Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, and Ferran Torres before he finally found some words.
"I know them quite well," he began. "They tried but sometimes it is difficult. Football is a difficult game sometimes. They put everything into it. I saw their faces and behaviours before, during and after and that is enough. Sometimes the opponents are better in the one-on-one – Cesar Azpilicueta, [Antonio] Rudiger, Thiago Silva, they are players with quality. It can happen.
"They have to fight for their confidence. We trust them a lot. It’s not about a single season. Always when we lose we have to look at what is responsible for that. The performance, the manager, many reasons. They did everything. We could not win and now we focus on Villa.
"They tried and for me that is enough."
It has not been enough to avoid defeat in two of their last three games though, and the sight of Kevin De Bruyne limping off down the Wembley tunnel throws up another problem.
Losing the Belgian doesn't need to be an issue - they won nine straight games without him earlier in 2021 - but his ability to win them games matters even more when there are fewer teammates stepping up.
Perhaps the manager is right that a Quadruple is impossible because it requires so many players to be so good for so long, but De Bruyne is one that can be relied on more than most, especially for the golden goose of the Champions League. That is why when he was injured in January the first thought was on getting him fit for the Borussia Gladbach game, and why City recently made him the best-paid player in the Premier League.
The initial signs from his injury were not promising, and he will be sorely missed with the Paris Saint-Germain games rapidly approaching.
For Guardiola, it feels like work is needed to get the squad to return to their record-breaking levels from between December and March if they are to avoid a disappointing end to what should still be seen as an excellent season.
The Villa and Tottenham games this week feel to have taken on more importance for mood going into the first leg against PSG and to settle the increasing concern among supporters that is creeping in. While Guardiola won't criticise his stars publicly, the teams that he picks after such a setback against Chelsea will say a lot about the players he feels he can rely on most.
"The team feels good physically. We arrived here all together. And we’re all going to finish together. The players know exactly [if they[ are playing good or not much good. I never point the responsibility at one or two or three. It’s happened, " he said.
"We lost together like we won in Dortmund together. We played a team that is one alongside Real Madrid and PSG and ourselves: the four best teams in Europe.
"I could’ve played the same selection than against Dortmund. That could happen. But who knows what would’ve happened? Nobody knows, not even me. I know in England it is so tough, this season more than ever, and over the last few weeks we say six, seven new players to try to win the games and do what we have to do. We’ve done it.
"Right now I don’t know what’s going to happen but with just 13-14 players, you don’t arrive in the latter stages six before the end of the season. I saw the performance, what happened, and that will come into (my thinking) for the next decisions but I have to let them play."