Manchester City defied the odds to become the 10th English team to reach the European Cup Semi Finals on Tuesday night after a 1-0 second leg victory over PSG at the Etihad Stadium, but can Manuel Pellegrini’s men go all the way and lift the Champions League trophy?
Before the 1st leg it was hard to imagine Manchester City making it past the quarter final stage against what looked on paper like a formidable Paris St Germain squad, but following an impressive display in the 1st leg at the Parc de Princes taking two away goals in a 2-2 draw it made things a lot more likely going into the next game. They only went and beat them as an outstanding Kevin de Bruyne strike made Segio Aguero’s penalty miss irrelevant as Manchester City went on to record a very convincing 1-0 victory over what seemed an uninterested and drab PSG team.
So what now? Well City fans and squad alike will be watching the semi-final draw keenly on Friday to find out who stands in their way of a Champions League final at the San Siro in Milan. A potential clash against European giants Real Madrid, FC Barcelona or Bayern Munich is a strong possibility should Barca and Bayern qualify on Wednesday night against Atletico Madrid and Benfica respectively, so whatever the case it will not be an easy task for Pellegrini’s squad. After beating PSG in a confident display, who says that anybody will be able to stop this Manchester City side on their road to the final? With talent such as Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and David Silva at City’s disposal that can mix it up with the football’s best there’s no reason why they can’t lift that trophy in Milan.
It seems as if the Champions League is now Manuel Pellegrini’s sole focus seen as though the Premier League is obviously out of reach as well as being knocked out of the FA Cup in his last season in charge of the blue side of Manchester. So will he be able to add another trophy to this seasons tally after already sealing the Capital One Cup win thanks to a penalty shootout victory over Liverpool? It begs the question is Pep Guardiola’s arrival for next season really necessary? I amongst many people was shocked that Manchester City have decided to release Manuel Pellegrini regardless of Guardiola’s reputation, because if it isn’t broke don’t fix it. Yes, every team in Europe would have been tempted to get Pep’s signature but surely if your team are competing at a high level on all fronts with the current manager it really isn’t that necessary to bring him in.
City have now joined the previous 9 English semi-finalists which are Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal as well as the more surprising names such as Nottingham Forest, Derby County, Leeds United and Aston Villa. This is a place in the record books that they so rightfully deserve after their recent rise towards the top of English football, all be it fully down to the money pumped into the club by Sheikh Mansour since his arrival in 2008. However, at the end of the day if Manchester City have a fully fit squad and they are all playing at a high level they have the potential to beat any team in Europe no matter what their stature. Will they be successful in Europe this season? We will soon find out.