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Manchester City - Greatest English flops in Europe’s elite competition

05 Dec 2012, 19:32 IST

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 21: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City and his team-mates look dejected after conceding the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City FC and Real Madrid CF at the Etihad Stadium on November 21, 2012 in Manchester, England.

After losing their last Champions League clash against Dortmund last night, Manchester City now hold the unlikely record for the worst Champions League performance by an English club, beating Blackburn Rovers in the process. City finished their nightmare Champions League run this season with a paltry 3 points from a possible 18, which included three away losses combined with three draws at home and no wins at all. It was an abysmal show by the English champions who put in a string of insipid performances, both home and away.

The last English team to perform this bad was Blackburn Rovers who lost their first three group stage matches in the ‘95-‘96 edition before finishing with four points under new manager Ray Harford, who took over the managerial reigns after Kenny Dalglish was promoted to the position of director of football at the club in June that year. Their woeful campaign was summed up by the on-field brawl between team-mates Graeme Le Saux and David Batty in a 3-0 defeat to Spartak Moscow. However, they did not go winless in their campaign after mustering up a 4-1 win against Rosenborg at home.

Manchester City started their campaign with a heartbreak 2-3 defeat away at Bernabeu to Real Madrid after conceding 2 goals in the final three minutes of the game. The performance had a lot of positives, with City being threatening on the counter. That, sadly, was their best performance of the tournament and they were lucky to escape with a 1-1 home draw against Dortmund, a game in which the ‘Black and Yellows’ were robbed by some poor decision from the referee.

A home and away tie to Ajax followed, where the Eastlanders were bulldozed by the Dutch 4-1 at the Amstelveen Arena and could barely manage a 1-1 draw at Etihad, by which point there progression to the next round was in serious jeopardy. The pressure of the European stage got to them and they bowed out after two toothless performances which culminated in a loss against Borussia and a lucky 1-1 draw with Los Blancos at home.

They finished last in their group and hence will not even participate in this year’s Europa League round of 32. Many Citizens might find this as an opportunity to focus on their stuttering EPL form, but only some of them will realise that such efforts will not help in increasing their UEFA coefficient rank, which ultimately will result in them getting tough groups every year. And what City do when facing such situation, is a well known fact now.

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