This website requires JavaScript.
Placeholder image

The Champions League is Man City's to lose! Pep Guardiola's side have all the resources to retain Europe's holy grail while other contenders look vulnerable

City may have waited their entire history to lift the biggest prize in club football, but all signs point to them doing it again Manchester City's road to winning their first-ever Champions League last year in Istanbul was long, arduous and fraught with endless potholes. They failed to get out of the group stage in their first two seasons in Europe's elite competition, and in the second they failed to win a single game and picked up just three points, the lowest achieved by any English club. They then suffered successive eliminations to Barcelona in the last 16 and were frustratingly passive in their semi-final defeat to Real Madrid in 2016. There was the emphatic 5-1 humiliation on aggregate at the hands of Liverpool in 2018, sandwiched by agonisingly close eliminations by Monaco and Tottenham on away goals. But perhaps 2020 was the worst, as they were somehow beaten by Lyon, a game that made Pep Guardiola so upset he came close to quitting. More heartache awaited in the 2021 final defeat to Chelsea in Porto and the chastening semi-final loss to Real Madrid a year later, before they finally got over the line at the Ataturk Stadium. City sure did it the hard way and no one could say they did not deserve to finally get their hands on club football's holy grail. Article continues below But after waiting so long for their maiden triumph and thinking they might never do it, there seems little in the way of Guardiola and his relentless squad going all the way again. City's quest to become only the second team to retain the trophy in the Champions League era begins in earnest with Tuesday's last-16 first leg in Copenhagen, but all signs point to them making it all the way to the Wembley final in June and lifting the big eared trophy once more... Editors' Picks Arsenal up to No.3 in pre-last 16 UCL Power Rankings

lire la suite