Sunday, November 18, 2018

Tricky Champions League draw for Manchester City

David Nugent in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 16 Mar 2018

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The draw for the last eight of the Champions League has been made, with England’s sole surviving teams Liverpool and Manchester City drawn together. There are a few other teams that City would have liked to have drawn that is for sure.

While City have thrived this season in the Premier League, Liverpool are the only team to beat the Citizens in the English top-flight.

Could be the trickiest draw for City

While the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayer Munich look like the toughest opposition left in the competition, Liverpool could prove to be the trickiest of opponents for Pep Guardiola’s side.

The Reds caused City major problems in their last meeting at Anfield, which ended in a 4-3 victory to Jurgen Klopp’s side. The Citizens seemed unable to deal with the ferocity of Liverpool’s high-press and the visitor’s defensive weaknesses were exposed.

It was one of the few games this season that Guardiola’s side did not look in total control of a match. The Catalan boss must hate Merseyside, as he has lost on his last three visits, including a 4-0 mauling at Everton last season.

Need to win the Champions League

It would be hard to claim that City have not been the best team in Europe this season. The play attractive football and have a number of matchwinners, not just one or two like some clubs, for example, Barcelona or Real Madrid.

The whole of the squad seems to buy into Guardiola’s football philosophy and the Catalan boss has produced an extraordinary team, albeit with the help of the clubs huge financial resources.

However, to be a truly great team City have to win the Champions League. If they do not win Europe’s elite competition, then people will ask if the Citizens are just flat-track bullies winning a poor Premier League because of a lack of quality elsewhere.

The draw has certainly thrown up a challenge to Guardiola and his side. They have won difficult games at rival’s grounds before this season, winning at United and Chelsea this season.

Anfield is a bogey ground for City, though, as they have won just twice at the famous old stadium in 31 visits. Granted many of those visits where when the Citizens were a mediocre or poor team. They are anything but that now.

City should go through over two legs

While it is easy to remember that Liverpool won at Anfield, it is also worth noting that City hammered Liverpool 5-0 in the reverse fixture at the Etihad Stadium after Sadio Mane saw red.

If City under Guardiola are to be regarded as a great team these are the sort of tough obstacles they have to negotiate. They have been brilliant this season and should have enough quality to see off Klopp’s side over the two legs.

In fact, City are still the second favourites to win the Champions League this season at odds of 3/1, with only Catalan giants Barcelona shorter odds to lift the trophy.

Manchester City will be determined to get revenge for that defeat earlier this season and progress to the quarter-finals of this competition. If they do, then the Citizens will richly deserve their place in the semi-finals, as something tells me that Liverpool will not be easy opponents.

Can Manchester City overcome Liverpool in the Champions League?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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