Uk News Man City could end one of football's great curiosities with European glory this season United Kingdom news
PremierLeague-News.Com - Guardiola is guarded about City’s Champions League prospects in what is their eighth season on the spin in the knock-out stages
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Incredible player, fantastic human being, so lucky he is with us, and other superlatives characterise the scented commentary of Pep Guardiola. Insert whichever pin-up you choose, the bouquets are universally applicable to members of a group that has smashed domestic rivals big and small in a winning run standing at 18. Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, their traditional top-six challengers, all dumped since West Brom nicked a draw at the Etihad in mid-December. Of the victories, 13 have come in the Premier League, catapulting Manchester City to the top of the table faster than a Mars probe. Only Guardiola refuses to accept the 10-point lead is insurmountable. And he is only being polite. With Premier League supremacy restored the focus shifts to Europe, where in fact it has always been, and why Guardiola was prised out of his lederhosen in Munich. The failure of Guardiola to augment his resume with a third European Cup after the two he claimed at Barcelona, both at United’s expense, is one of football’s great curiosities. i's fantasy football tips newsletter: get aheadEmail address is invalidThank you for subscribing!Sorry, there was a problem with your subscription. Read More Marco Rose: Meet the Jurgen Klopp mini-me plotting Man City’s downfall in the Champions League While pulverising the Bundesliga opposition in each of his three seasons, he racked up an unwanted hat-trick of semi-final defeats in the Champions League, all to Spanish teams; Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. The last of which, an away goals ambush, was particularly painful and when set in the context of subsequent experience at City, where Guardiola has lost matches he was expected to win against Liverpool, Spurs and Lyon, it is fair to assume the issue may have acquired a psychological dimension. The defeat to Lyon in particular certainly left Vlada Sedan scratching her head. The new wife of Aleksandr Zinchenko went ape on her YouTube channel with what was in fact awfully close to the truth. “You saw what happened. I’m not a football player, not a coach, not a critic or an analyst. I understand that my opinion is not authoritative. Perhaps I have no right to say this, and perhaps Zinchenko will forbid me, but to put it mildly, in order not to swear, this is completely Guardiola’s fault. “At such a crucial moment, using such an experimental tactic for City was a bummer. I have no right to criticise, but why play three central defenders? I simply have no words because to have such a line-up.
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. Literally only a few clubs in the world can boast having such players at substitutes.” She might have been wounded by her husband’s deselection to the bench, but that he was sat alongside Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and John Stones, all of whom have played central roles in City’s revival, not to mention David Silva, City’s player of the decade, was less excusable.The quarter-final tie was, of course, a Covid-condensed, one-off fixture and Guardiola was wrestling with the defensive vulnerabilities of the pre-Ruben Dias period that saw them fall well off Liverpool’s title-setting pace. Nevertheless the selection smacked of over-thinking brought on by performance anxiety in a competition the club’s Abu Dhabi owners most wants to win. To that end Borussia Monchengladbach present on paper at least a soft entry into a last 16 that is peppered with listing heavyweights. We are witness to the last days of Messi at a crumbling Barcelona. Debt-laden Real Madrid are somehow second in La Liga despite eye-catching failures to beat the likes of Elche and Osasuna, losing at home to Levante and to third-tier Alcoyana in the Spanish Cup. Lyon beat Man City in last year’s quarter-finals (Photo: Reuters)With neither Bayern Munich nor Juventus, despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s refusal to go quietly, anywhere near their potent best, and the English challengers Liverpool and Chelsea reeling in City’s domestic wake, the runes portend serious riches at the season’s end.Assuming, that is, Guardiola remains on the right side of Mrs Zinchenko and stays out of his own way. The signs are promising, if reactions to the good wishes he received on his 50th birthday last month are a reliable guide. “Alex, the most important thing for me is to be liked by your wife and all will be okay,” he said. This is the eighth season on the spin that City have reached the knock-out stage. Mindful of his recent record in this competition, Guardiola is guarded about City’s prospects, and strays not an inch from his game-at-a-time script.He said: “We lost but we played better than Lyon. We want to try to play better this time and win the game. It is a football game, 90 minutes. We’re going to try to do a good game and after we will think about West Ham on Saturday.” Mercifully Guardiola’s teams are more tasty than his salty media droppings. More on the Premier League‘I want Burnley to be the UK’s favourite underdog’Young-Myles: The case for Spurs retaining Mourinho is diminishing by the weekThe making of Everton’s versatile defender whose rise surprised even his own managerHall: Martial is running out of chances to prove he is part of the future at Man UtdThe Czech ‘warriors’ who rose from obscurity to fire West Ham into European contention
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