Manchester City’s quest to achieve Europe’s most prestigious title for the first time continues. In the semi-finals, they will face Real Madrid, marking a rematch from last season when Ancelotti’s squad rallied from a 4-3 deficit in the first leg to emerge victorious.
And it is not the same Real Madrid they faced last year. After winning the Champions League, they are rejuvenated, they are confident, and they are here to win yet again. While Madrid steps into the game high on confidence after winning the Copa Del Rey this weekend, Manchester City themselves are not behind in self-belief. Guardiola’s team has been potent in every game they have stepped on to the turf.
However, it won’t be an easy task for Manchester City to go past the connoisseurs of Champions League Football. Man City unarguably may be the best club in Europe or even the world but when it comes to Champions League, there is something different ingrained in the veins of every Real Madrid player that acts as a drug and helps them perform as good as any club in the history of football. The Spanish giants are looking for their second European title in a row and surely have the acumen to accomplish that laurel.
Even if Manchester City are to win the semi-finals against Real Madrid, they will have to face either AC Milan or Inter Milan; two teams who badly would want to revive their Champions League glory. On paper, Man City are easy favourites to emerge champions but in reality are the most fragile team of the last four. The history of Man City in Champions League doesn’t help either. The Blues of Manchester have faltered in the last stages of knockout plenty of times under Guardiola and would be worried about creating the same mishap this time as well.
For Manchester City’s dismal, they have a jam-packed schedule ahead of them. They have to play 7 games in the next 20 days which frankly is a no break schedule in terms of football. The work ethic that Pep Guardiola’s team puts in is already high and to do this every third day is inviting fatigue of his players, both mentally and physically.
For Guardiola’s rescue is the depth that his team possess. If structured and analysed properly they can reduce the workload of important players depending on the game and situation of the game. This may sound easy but it isn’t considering Man City’s endeavour to win the Premier League as well. But this is what Pep does best, he knows how to make his players get in and win matches and we are hoping that he does the same this time as well.