Despite many expecting them to at least score an away goal, Manchester City have fallen 1-0 to Tottenham in their Champions League quarter-final clash.
A Son Heung-min goal in the 78th minute gave Tottenham the advantage heading into the second leg and has put Manchester City’s hopes for a maiden Champions League trophy in doubt.
Manchester City have always been criticised for not performing as well in Europe compared to in the Premier League, and this season has been a great chance to silence the doubters.
Pep Guardiola’s men have been playing dominant football and their squad full of world class players has them on track for a domestic treble.
So far this season, Manchester City have won the Community Shield, the EFL Cup, are second in the Premier League with a game in hand and are in the final of the FA Cup. A Champions League trophy would add to their list of honours this season.
However, their loss to Tottenham last night showed that they are beatable and have plenty of work to do before the second leg. Sergio Aguero’s missed penalty may prove costly and could be the difference in determining whether they progress.
Guardiola surprised many with his tactics for the match, with Kevin De Bruyne not in the starting XI due to ‘tactical reasons.’ The Belgian will need to start in the second leg to give Manchester City a strong chance of overcoming the deficit. Should they fail to qualify for the next round of the Champions League, their European woes will continue and if they do not win the Premier League this season, it would be considered a disaster.
Tottenham’s victory should not be discounted however, with Spurs doing exceptionally well to win the first leg. Now playing their home matches at their new stadium, it is a positive period for Mauricio Pochettino’s men and reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League would be a massive achievement for the club.
There are fears that Harry Kane could be out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury, and he would be sorely missed if proven true. It would dampen their chances of protecting their first leg lead in the Champions League, as well as their hopes for a top-four finish in the Premier League. Progressing far into the Champions League would be a great story of overcoming adversity.
All eyes will be on Etihad Stadium next week to see who can progress to the semi-finals of the competition. Interestingly, the two will play each other three days later at the same venue in the Premier League. It is too hard to predict what will happen, however one thing is certain – Guardiola and Manchester City cannot repeat what happened in last night’s match.