Champions League scoring and updates

Manchester City and Europe have a strange relationship. Every year they are loved and every year they fail to win the Champions League trophy. Which is strange because Old Big Ears is the one piece of silver that the richest club in the world covets above all else.

From a shock loss to Lyon, through a historic defeat against Real Madrid, to a disappointing loss in the final to Chelsea, the richest club in the final, City simply cannot cross the line. Not only that, but if you look at the club’s record in the competition, it’s not that great. Just three semi-final appearances in the last 11 seasons are far from acceptable for a club of his supreme wealth and successful domestic record.

Why mention it now? Well, the first leg against Leipzig was in some ways a microcosm of their European escapades of the last 11 years. During the first half, Pep Guardiola’s side were so dominant in the first half that they could, and should, have killed the tiebreaker as a contest then and there. But in the second half the hosts managed to fight for control and returned to the clash with a deserved equalizer. So, from early and domineering promise, to weak and underwhelming letdown, a line that sums up every Champions League season for City.

They are still the favorites to reach the quarterfinals, but they cannot afford to (i) pass up great opportunities like they did in Germany, and (ii) get into their shells. They may need a raucous Etihad to help them out, which, considering they sometimes struggle to sell European ties at home, could be a problem.

Guardiola is under no illusions that the Champions League is what will judge him and that victory tonight is of the utmost importance.

“Yes. That doesn’t mean I agree with it, but absolutely we will be judged for that competition,” the Man City manager said.

“My first Champions League game here (in 2016), they asked me: ‘Are you here to win the Champions League?’ If I were the coach of Real Madrid, I would understand it, but I accept it. No matter how much we go through, that’s not going to change.”

Stay here for all the team news, pre-game preparation and action.


Leave a Reply