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The Teams and Results That Ended Manchester City's Dreams Last Season.

Andy Mukolo
ANALYST
Feature
700   //    22 Aug 2018, 19:32 IST

Liverpool v Torino - Pre-Season Friendly
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah was a torn in Man City's flesh last seas

Following a disappointing debut season in England, Pep Guardiola masterminded one of the greatest Premier league title charges in the history of English football.

After three successful but disappointing years with Bayern Munich, the Catalan tactician joined Man City as the best among his peers but failed to make an immediate impact as his team still needed time to adjust to his philosophy.

The Cityzens were knocked out in the FA Cup Semi-finals by Arsenal, eliminated by Manchester United in the fourth round of the League cup, and crumbled against a defiant AS Monaco in the UEFA Champions League round of 16.

At the end of the 2016/17 season, Manchester City finished third on the Premier League table, behind Tottenham Hotspur and Antonio Conte's Chelsea.

Almost a year later, there was a swagger about Pep Guardiola's team, whose perfect start to the 2017/18 season inspired predictions of a quadruple.

In the league, Manchester City remained unstoppable, but their dreams of going unbeaten, and winning every available trophy was hindered by a number of inspired performances and heroic displays.

We look at the results that denied the Premier League Champions a

WILL GRIGG AND WIGAN.


By far the most surprising of all Manchester City’s defeats in 2017/18. Pep Guardiola’s side threw everything at The Latics, but the Premier League leaders just couldn’t find a way at the DW Stadium.

As was expected, City had all the possession and created multiple chances in Wigan’s half, but Chey Dunkley and Dan Burn’s doggedness in defense frustrated the Manchester Club.

Fabian Delph’s shocking red card sparked a heated debate between Pep Guardiola and Wigan manager Paul Cook, but it was Will Grigg’s low finish eleven-minutes from time, that ended City’s hopes, and capped a night of drama at the DW Stadium.

“Will Grigg’s on fire”, we remember the song, and we definitely remember Wigan’s heroics in front of their supporters.

LIVERPOOL, THE REAL NEMESIS.

For Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool, it was more than just about outplaying their opponents, it was about revenge and getting even.

In September, the Reds suffered a 5-0 hammering at the Etihad. Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane were on target as Manchester City’s perfect start to the season continued, but in January, Liverpool would get even.

On Matchday twenty-three, Man City travelled to Anfield as league leaders and unbeaten in the league too, but at the hour mark, Jurgen Klopp’s men were 4-1 up. Sweet revenge.

Although Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan tried to salvage a draw for City, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah’s goals put the game beyond reach.

At full time, Manchester City had suffered their first league defeat of the season, the dreams of an invincible title triumph no longer existed, but Liverpool wasn’t done just yet.

After finishing top of a group that had the likes of Napoli, Shakhtar Donetsk and Feyenoord, Manchester City brushed Basel aside 5-2 on aggregate to qualify for the Champions league Quarter-finals, where Liverpool was waiting to cause more grief.


The culprits were the same, Mohamed Salah, Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Sadio Mane scored to give Liverpool a 3-0 first-leg advantage at Anfield and about a week later at the Etihad, it was business as usual for Jurgen Klopp’s men.

After Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring to spark hopes of a historic comeback, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah turned it around to give Liverpool a 5-1 aggregate win. This was Manchester City’s heaviest defeat of the season, but it was also the end of their Champions League dreams.

It will be interesting to see City’s performances against Liverpool this season.

MANCHESTER DERBY, APRIL.

Defensive errors condemned Man United to a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford. David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi scoring either side of Marcus Rashford’s strike to keep Pep Guardiola’s Premier League title charge on course.

However, in April, Jose Mourinho’s men mounted a remarkable second-half performance, coming from two goals behind to complete one of the most dramatic comebacks of the season.


It was one of those afternoons for Paul Pogba, whose second-half brace overturned City’s two-goal lead, before Chris Smalling volleyed home to spark wild celebrations in the away section at Etihad.

The 3-2 victory did not stop Pep Guardiola’s men from winning the Premier League title in May, but it delayed their title celebrations and provided proof that Manchester United was capable of giving City a taste of its own poison.

SHAKHTAR DONETSK 2-1 MANCHESTER CITY


In their Final group game, Manchester City travelled to Ukraine with hopes of becoming the first English team to win all six of their Champions League group fixtures in one season.

However, the Cityzens fell to two first-half strikes from Bernard and Dos Santos, and not even Sergio Aguero’s injury-time penalty could prevent City from suffering their first defeat of the season.

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Andy Mukolo
ANALYST
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