Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has told goalkeeper Joe Hart to stop criticising the team, insisting he is the only "judge".
City twice led Champions League rivals Real Madrid before slipping to a dramatic 3-2 defeat in the Bernabeu.
"You can't go 2-1 up with five minutes to go and lose the game," Hart said. "We can only blame ourselves."
But Mancini responded: "I agree but I think Joe Hart should do his job. I can criticise the team not Joe Hart."
The Italian added: "Joe Hart should stay as goalie. I am the judge, not Joe Hart."
City had to withstand some intense pressure before substitute Edin Dzeko gave them the lead on 69 minutes.
Marcelo equalised for Real Madrid seven minutes later only for the Spanish side to fall behind again when Aleksandar Kolarov's free-kick curled in after 85 minutes.
But Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo both found the net in the final three minutes to give the La Liga champions a thrilling victory.
"We dug deep, got a lead twice and we lost it, so we can only blame ourselves," Hart told ITV. "It's hard to come off the field after losing 3-2 and be positive. I'm really sorry.
"We're not a team that should come here and pat ourselves on the back for doing well. We're a team that gets results."
Mancini added: "It is difficult not because we lost - we can lose against a side like Real Madrid - but because with four minutes to go it was 2-1.
"This is strange. I think we need to improve this situation.
"Sometimes we go too deep. We made some mistakes and I don't want us to continue defending like this.
"In the first half, they played better than us but in the second half we played well and scored two goals.
"When you score two goals here and are 2-1, you should pay more attention."
Mancini also believes his Premier League champions cannot use a lack of European experience as an excuse for the defeat.
"We can't continue to talk about experience," he said. "We have good players who play for their international teams. They play a lot of games.
"I think I am happy for our performance in the second half but I think we can improve and we should be disappointed that we lost."
Despite this being only City's second Champions League campaign, first-team coach David Platt says they can take no comfort from having come so close to earning a positive result at the Bernabeu.
"We won the league last year and the cup the year before that, so we go into every football match wanting to get something out of it," Platt said.
"Scoring two goals at the Bernabeu means very little because we've taken no points. We have to analyse and see where we can do better because we have to do better. We're conceding too many."
City were eliminated after the group stages last season and Mancini is determined to avoid a similar fate this time around.
"We have five games left in the group and it is important we beat Borussia Dortmund at home next," said the Italian. "It will be difficult as they are a top team but this year we want to go through."