Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Guardiola chases Champions League vindication




Guardiola chases Champions League vindication


After a series of painful Champions League failures, Pep Guardiola is on a mission to seal his Manchester City legacy by finally getting his hands on the trophy again.

City start their latest bid to win the club's first European Cup with a trip to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Group C opener on Wednesday.

The long flight to the Ukraine will give Guardiola plenty of time to ponder his curious streak of Champions League flops in recent years.


Guardiola has conquered English football spectacularly after winning the last two Premier League titles, the first in record-breaking fashion and the second as part of an unprecedented domestic treble last season.

Yet the Champions League has proved impossible for Guardiola to master since he arrived at the Etihad Stadium.

City's best Champions League run was under Guardiola's predecessor Manuel Pellegrini, who made the semifinals in the last season before the Spaniard took over.

And Guardiola's inability to win the Champions League without Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in his team is a black mark his critics use to question the 48-year-old's right to be ranked as a managerial legend.

While that assessment is harsh on the innovative and inspirational Guardiola, his European campaigns with City have undoubtedly been painful experiences that exposed the few flaws in his team.

VAR was the scapegoat for last season's dramatic quarterfinal defeat against Tottenham, but the real reasons for City's failure to progress were a subdued first leg performance in north London and a defensive meltdown in the second leg.

The year before that Liverpool punished City's oddly timid display quarterfinal display at Anfield, while Monaco shockingly eliminated Guardiola's side after an error-prone last 16 tie in his first season.










https://www.supersport.com/football/uefa-champions-league/news/190917_Guardiola_chases_Champions_League_vindication

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