another humiliating failure for Pep Guardiola…
In the 89th minute of this Champions League semi-final second leg between Real Madrid and Manchester City, many thought they were witnessing a crazy end to the season between the Citizens and Liverpool. The two most impressive teams of the moment leave for an anthology duel in the Premier League (83 points for City against 82 for the Reds 4 days from the end) as well as in the European Cup. Pep Guardiola’s side led 5-3 on aggregate against the Merengues a minute from the end of regulation time and saw themselves qualify for their second consecutive Champions League final, to face Liverpool in Stade de France.
But when you play your European qualification in Spain, you shouldn’t be sure of anything, not even in the 89th minute. PSG can prove that. And that’s what happened to the Citizens. Within two minutes, the match went to the unreal thanks to two goals from Rodrygo in extra time. Real caught up, before blowing up the Bernabéu with Karim Benzema’s winning penalty. Delirium in Madrid as the cameras are mostly focused on one man: Pep Guardiola. Standing KO after Rodrygo’s double, the Catalan ended his night prostrate on his bench, powerless against Madrid’s revolt. At the end of the match, he found the strength to get up, congratulate the City supporters and console his players.
Lots of elimination against the weaker
However, this new failure in the Champions League hurt, very badly. Destroyed by the Spanish and English press, it was a marked Pep Guardiola who showed himself to the media. Sober when it comes to assessing the match of his players, the Spaniard departs leaving doubts about his future. Information or simple reaction related to the failure of an elimination? The future will tell. But what is certain is that the former midfielder’s balance with the Skyblues in the European Cup does not depend on the investments made by his employers (more than a billion euros) . Since arriving in England in 2016, Guardiola has only known failure in the most prestigious continental competitions. Especially against teams lower than his club.
Released in the round of 16 by AS Monaco by Kylian Mbappé, future champion of France, (5-3, 1-3) in 2017, then City broke three times in the quarter-finals: crushed by Liverpool (0 -3) . , 1-2) in 2018, was brutally eliminated against Tottenham by Mauricio Pochettino (0-1, 4-3) in 2019 and was surprised by Rudi Garcia’s OL (1-3) in the Final Four organized in Lisbon in 2020. Finally, Chelsea had the Mancunian’s dreams destroyed last year in the final in Porto (0-1). The icing on the cake, Pep Guardiola became last night the coach who has been fired the most times in the semi-finals of the Champions League, along with José Mourinho. Six defeats, including two to FC Barcelona, three to Bayern Munich and one to Manchester City. Still in the stats department, The Independent recall that of the eleven eliminations that Guardiola has experienced in the Champions League since 2010, 8 concern matches in which his teams have scored at least two goals in a short time (2 in 13 minutes in 2010, 3 in 18 in 2014, 3 out of 17 in 2015, 2 out of 8 in 2017, 3 out of 19 in 2018, 2 out of 3 in 2019, 2 out of 8 in 2020 and 3 out of 6 in 2022).
The fear of white weather
On paper, the Spaniard’s record is enough to talk about. But yesterday there were many mistakes in City’s performance. Admittedly, Guardiola’s team was not as dominant as in the first leg, but they controlled the game. As a reminder, Madrid missed their five attempts on target in the first half. But again, it’s the offensive efficiency of Citizens that has been singled out. In the first leg, City should have scored more than four goals instead of finishing 4-3. And yesterday, how can one not think of the two big chances (and especially the incredible save from Ferland Mendy on his line) signed by Jack Grealish before Rodrygo’s first goal (87th, 88th)?
By the time Erling Haaland is announced with insistence at the Etihad next season, City may think that the meeting has folded with a true number 9, a profile that the Citizens have lacked since the departure of Sergio Agüero. In other words, a new failure that City will no doubt try to forget along with millions in the next transfer window. Meanwhile, the English media are now wondering if Guardiola’s new European fiasco will have consequences in the title race. Will the citizens lose everything on May 22? As a reminder, aside from his first season at the Etihad (2016/2017), Pep Guardiola has never gone a trophy-less year since coaching at City…
6 – Pep Guardiola has been eliminated 6 times in the semi-finals of the Champions League (2010 and 2012 with Barcelona, 2014, 2015 and 2016 with Bayern, 2022 with Manchester City), the highest total for a coach with José Mourinho. Earthquake #RMAMCI pic.twitter.com/pagjEDpJor
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) May 4, 2022