How Manchester City responded to previous Champions League exits

Manchester City once again managed to get the typical City out of the Champions League in quite an impressive and heartbreaking way.

There’s no time to lick those wounds, though, as City are forced to instantly regroup or risk seeing even the one remaining trophy they’re fighting over slip through their fingers.

The ‘good’ news is that this kind of Champions League backhand It’s happened to City so many times before that we can take a good look back at what they’ve done in previous games in the immediate aftermath of such disappointments and determine if they really are about to lose some precious Premier League points too and help Liverpool in his way to the little-mentioned Quadruple.

2016/17 Champions League exit: R16, Monaco 3-1 Manchester City (6-6, Monaco won on away goals)

Next official match: Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool

The outing that started the trend, and City’s first (but not last) chaotic succumbence to the away goals rule. Poor Pep was so scared by Monaco’s three goals at the Etihad that he completely forgot about City’s five. It’s still a two-goal lead, Pep. “Away goals count double” was always confusingly inaccurate. But having confidently but mathematically incorrectly declared that City had to score in Monaco to stand a chance, Pep packed his side full of attackers and quickly sent in another three goals. However, they managed an away goal, so it was a moral victory.

City followed up the Champions League exit that still seems to have a big influence on their Grand Cup exploits with a fun and opportunity-filled 1-1 draw against Liverpool, as two entertaining but defensively flawed teams cemented their four first places behind Chelsea. and spurs. Five years is a long time, isn’t it?

2017/18 Champions League elimination: quarter-finals, Manchester City 1-2 Liverpool (1-5)

Next official match: Tottenham 1-3 Manchester City

City had gotten into this at Anfield in the first leg, actually, beaten 3-0 by a Liverpool side that was just beginning to transform into the one we know today, but were still eons away from City. Such was the extent of City’s domestic dominance that no one dismissed the second leg as irrelevant. City pulled one back, but then Pep was sent off protesting a disallowed goal that would have made it 2-0 on the night and really interesting. Still, however, it felt like a Champions League draw that only City themselves could lose from Liverpool’s position, with goals from Salah and Mane changing the outcome of the night and securing an outright aggregate victory.

City bounced back quite well this time, with a 3-1 away win over a Tottenham side still close to their Poch Peak and on a 14-match unbeaten league run. A slightly dubious penalty helped City take an early 2-0 lead before Christian Eriksen discounted the game advance just before half time. Spurs threatened to complete the comeback before Gabriel Jesus secured the points and took City 16 points clear of second-placed Manchester United, whose loss to West Brom the next day would confirm the title for Pep and the gang.

2018/19 Champions League exit: quarter-finals, Manchester City 4-3 Tottenham (4-4, Spurs won on away goals)

Next official match: Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham

A one-goal home win over Tottenham followed by a one-goal home win over Tottenham. Just a rock solid consistent shape and nothing else to say. However, apparently we need to do it. One of those games is remembered a little better and, for some reason, it’s not the one in which 18-year-old Phil Foden scored his first Premier League goal to lift City back above Liverpool to the top of the Premier League. the Premier League. Those feel like pretty memorable stuff, really, but they can’t compete with a game that stands out as absurd even in Manchester City’s (and Spurs, tbf) gargantuan catalog of nonsense.

It was a nervous but vital victory, with Foden’s header after five minutes and City surviving sustained pressure from Spurs as the game wore on. Given the way the Premier League fixture played out, it was a game City had to win and they almost did. It looks like he could provide the line more relevantly for this weekend.

Phil Foden celebrates his first Premier League goal, for Manchester City against Tottenham in April 2019

2019/20 Champions League elimination: quarter-finals, Manchester City 1-3 Lyon

Next official match: Wolves 1-3 Manchester City

A deeply, profoundly silly Champions League exit in which Guardiola decided to question things against an average Lyon side that City should have shone just by playing properly. The fact that it was the summer of Covid would offer some mitigation if this was the first or last time City had engaged in such nonsense. But it’s not like that.

That ‘tournament format’ finale to the 2020 Champions League took place in August, meaning City’s next competitive game wasn’t until the delayed start of the following Premier League season in September. And the result was a solid enough win over solid enough opposition that it actually has many of the hallmarks of the 3-1 win at Spurs a couple of years earlier, except it came in a month instead of three days. after the previous Champions League catastrophe. First two-goal lead, including a penalty, the home team slows down the game to make things a little jittery, Jesus scores a third City goal to calm any remaining nerves.

2020/21 Champions League elimination: Final, Chelsea 1-0 Manchester City

Next official match: Tottenham 1-0 Manchester City

Once again we turn to the following season for an answer to the filth of the Champions League pants. Guardiola had plenty of time to (over)think the decision to leave out both Rodri and Fernandinho for the final against Chelsea and entrust the defensive midfield responsibilities entirely to Ilkay Gundogan, an astonishing move that was accentuated even further. more for the fact that he didn’t even make it to our top three in the Pep Champions League.and the result was not very good.

You can decide between yourselves if Community Shield is a competitive game or not, but there is little difference. City lost that match 1-0 to FA Cup champions Leicester and then began the 2021/22 league season with what, even more absurdly, would become their second dumbest loss of the season to the Spurs. Strange things seem to happen when those two meet; it’s as if Spursiness and Typical Citizenship are such powerful forces that when they collide the result can be almost anything, but it will almost certainly be jokes. this was an early and completely misleading success for Nuno Espirito Santowhose team eliminated City’s attacking threat fairly well before City’s frequent scourge Son-Heung Min scored the winner.

Exit Champions 2021/22: Real Madrid – Manchester City 3-1 (6-5)

Next official match: Newcastle (H), Sunday

The nature of City’s exit – two goals in the closing minutes of regulation and another in the early stages of extra time – was very typical, but the manner of this defeat feels a bit different. This one feels somehow less like City Citying themselves (although they could have prevented all this by scoring the four goals they should have had in the first 20 minutes of the first leg) and more like running into the inevitability of Real Madrid, a team that has now done an extraordinary blunder to win three knockout ties. a way against genuine elite opposition while being pretty trashy for most of the duration of each tie.

Following in the footsteps of PSG and Chelsea being erased by the narrative might offer some consolation if this wasn’t such a familiar and well-trodden path for City, and you have to think they’re rising to the rigors of a title showdown. which now represents the Single very far from certain for a team that had been chasing the treble until the last couple of weeks could be a tricky thing.

Even if they had progressed, this would still be difficult for City. Clearly, Newcastle now is not the same as Newcastle then, and this game now represents a significant opening for Liverpool who, brilliant as they are, cannot win the Quadruple without at least someone else’s help.

City’s record of three wins, one draw and one loss after previous Champions League exits isn’t…great by their standards, but it also needs to be noted that they’ve been tough games too. Liverpool once and Spurs three times is not ideal territory to lick your wounds.

It should also be noted that for all their impressive work over the last five months, Newcastle have generally fallen short against the best; their four Premier League defeats in 2022 have been to Spurs, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton.

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