Man City disappointed its fans yet again by losing in the most terrible fashion to Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final second leg. City looked certain to go through when Riyad Mahrez put them 1-0 up and 5-3 ahead on aggregate. After leading in the first leg 4-3, City couldn’t hold on to the lead and lost the second match 3-1.
Madrid were hopeful of bouncing back given their past performances in the competition this season against Chelsea and Paris St-Germain. In the game against Chelsea, who were leading the second leg 3-0, Madrid stormed back to win the tie 5-4 on aggregate. They did the same against PSG when they looked dead and buried.
Against City, Rodrygo scored a brace in injury time to force the match into extra time where Karim Benzema won a penalty and scored. The Spaniards hung on to claim an incredible win proving they are the kings of the comeback.
The curse on Man City continues to haunt them despite having one of the best managers in Pep Guardiola as well as the best and the most expensive players. In the last season, they lost the final to Chelsea and Guardiola was blamed for the tactics he used. In 2020, City lost to underdogs Lyon 3-1. In 2018/2019 season, City were the favorites to win the Champions League but they lost against Tottenham on away goals.
If you look at it, each season of Champions League, City are the hot favorites but they are not able to get the better of their opponents. What astonishes me is that despite winning the domestic cups such as the Premier league, FA Cup, etc, they are not able to make a mark in the Champions League in the past few years.
It is a result which will raise more questions about Guardiola and the Champions League. Despite having stellar squads at both Bayern Munich and City, he has not lifted the trophy since his time at Barcelona. For a manager of his quality and one who has made a habit of collecting domestic trophies wherever he’s been, it remains a strange anomaly that he has not won Europe’s top club competition for more than a decade.
Every year City fans around the world hope to see the team lift the cup - but they have not been able to fulfil that hope yet.