Manchester City FC is just 90 minutes or there about away from getting their hands on the trophy that has eluded them for their over a century old history; the UEFA Champions League.
Pep Guardiola was brought in to win the Champions League, and he could well do so on Saturday when his City team face fellow English club Chelsea. His team has completely dominated the Premiership since he moved from Munich to Manchester, winning 3 of the 4 premier league seasons.
Guardiola, who won the Champions league twice with Barcelona, none with Bayern Munich, saw his Manchester City team get knocked out in the quarter finals of the competition for the past three seasons.
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How did the team manage to navigate its way to the final?
The Cityzens qualified for the Champions League this current season as a result of finishing in second place in the Premier League last season behind Liverpool, and ahead of the their city rivals, Manchester United.
Manchester City were drawn alongside FC Porto of Portugal, Olympiacos of Greece and Marseille of France in Group C. They were favourites to win the group and win the group they did.
City kicked off the campaign with a 3:1 home win against Porto, and went on toe win four more and drawing one.
They recorded 5 clean sheets in the group stage, conceding only 1 goal against FC Porto on Matchday 1, and also drawing against Porto on Matchday 5.
- Matchday 1 – Man City 3, Porto 1
- Matchday 2 – Man City 3, Marseille 0
- Matchday 3 – Man City 3, Olympiacos 0
- Matchday 4 – Man City 1, Olympiacos 0
- Matchday 5 – Man City 0, Porto 0
- Matchday 6 – Man City 3, Marseille 0
Round of 16
A favourable draw in the round of 16 saw Guardiola’s team take on Germany’s Borussia Monchengladbach.
They got one leg into the quarter-finals with a 2:0 win away in Germany, thanks to goals from Bernado Silva (29 minutes) and Gabriel Jesus (65 minutes).
The second leg in Budapest due to travel restrictions in England went just as the first leg, with City wining by 2 goals to 0. This time early first half goals from Kevin De Bruyne (12 minutes) and Ilkay Gundogan got the job done.
Man. City came up against a youthful and attack minded Borussia Dortmund in the quarter finals. The first leg, a home match for city started with an early goal from Kevin De Bruyne, with an 84th minute equaliser by Marco Reus.
An injury time goal by England International Phil Foden gave City an edge going into the second leg in Germany.
The second leg replicated the same result as the first; a 1:2 victory for City, giving them an aggregate win of 4:2.
England’s Jude Bellingham got Dortmund going in the 15th minute, only to have Riyad Mahrez equalize from the penalty spot in the 55th minute.
Just as he did in the first leg, Phil Foden scored the second and winning goal in the 75th minute, sending City past the quarter-final for the first time in the Guardiola era.
Up against one of the favourites to win the competition; talent-rich PSG, Pep Guardiola’s team was to face their biggest opponents yet in the season.
With the first leg in Paris, PSG’s Marquinhos put the hosts ahead with a goal in the 15th minute, but goals from Kevin De Bryune and Riyad Mahrez in a space of 10 minutes in the second half handed the initiative back to city.
The first leg ended 1:2 in City’s favour.
Back in Manchester, Pep Guardiola and his team needed a draw to advance, even a 1:0 defeat would have been sufficient.
They clearly had other plans, as they want ahead early with an 11th minute goal from Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian added another in the 63rd minute to hand city a 2:0 victory, and a ticket to the final of the Champions League for the first time in their victory.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur