Manchester City’s defeat last night at the hands of Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur means that Pep Guardiola’s progress in the competition is under jeopardy again.
Guardiola won the Champions League with Barcelona in 2008/2009 and then again in 2010/2011, but it’s been more difficult going for him since then.
City fail away from home for the first time since January
Sergio Aguero’s penalty miss early in last night’s 1-0 defeat at could end up being looked back on as a pivotal moment in the tie. City went on to dominate the match for long periods, knocking at the door numerous times, only to then be pegged back by Son Heung-min’s goal against the run of the play. Guardiola might well regret his decision to bench Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane & Gabriel Jesus with Sergio Aguero not quite looking match sharp. Bernardo Silva, an increasingly influential figure under Guardiola, was sorely missed too with an injury.
Is Guardiola prioritising the Premier League or did he just get it wrong tactically last night? Can they pick themselves up for Sunday’s visit to Crystal Palace?
Pep’s record season by season since 2011
2011/2012: Barcelona – semifinals
Lost to Chelsea 3-2 on aggregate.
2012/2013: Did not manage and took a year away from the game.
2013/2014: Bayern Munich – semifinals
Lost to Real Madrid 5-0 on aggregate.
2014/2015: Bayern Munich – semifinals
Lost to Barcelona 5-3 on aggregate.
2015/2016: Bayern Munich – semifinals
Lost to Atletico Madrid on away goals – 2-2 on aggregate
2016/2017: Manchester City – round of 16
Lost to Monaco on away goals – 6-6 on aggregate
2017/2018: Manchester City – quarterfinals
Lost to Liverpool 5-1 on aggregate
2018/2019: Manchester City -?
Pep’s UEFA Champions League record by numbers
2 – Times Guardiola has won the tournament, with Barcelona in 2009 & 2011.
5 – He has reached five other semifinals, two with Barca and three in as many seasons with Bayern Munich.
1 – Only once before has Guardiola’s run been ended by English opposition, when Chelsea defeated Barca in the 2012 semifinal.
City must dust themselves off after a disappointing result against Tottenham, starting with a Premier League clash at Crystal Palace where they need to win in order to reclaim top spot in the Premier League. Then it’s the return leg against Spurs where City know that they have to score at least once, and if Spurs get on the score sheet, City will need at least three.