Following Manchester City’s progression into the quarter-finals of the Champions League, we take a look at their chances of going the distance in the competition and ending the season with the much sought after trophy in their cabinet.
Pep Guardiola’s side reached the last eight of the competition with a routine 4-0 aggregate win over Borussia Mönchengladbach, and are still on course for a first-ever quadruple. They remain in both the FA Cup and Carabao Cup and are runaway leaders in the Premier League.
They have scored 17 goals in eight Champions League games, remarkably conceding just one in the process. They have dominated every opponent faced having won every fixture barring a 0-0 draw away at Porto in the group stages.
Now in his fifth season with the Cityzens, the Champions League trophy is the only one that Guardiola is yet to bring to the Etihad Stadium. He has seen his side exit the competition in the last eight three seasons running.
The club’s best performance in Europe actually came in 2015/16 – a year before his arrival – in which they were defeated in the semi-final.
City have a real chance of going all the way this year, and if they do it will move their manager into an elite group of those who have won the coveted prize with three separate clubs.
Having recently gone on a 21-game winning run in all competitions, a monstrous mentality has been discovered, and everything seems to be clicking into a higher gear each match.
Added to City’s own prowess of winning games with goals, the summer addition of Rúben Dias has brought an ability to keep most attackers quiet.
He and John Stones have formed a great partnership, and the only real challenge for them now would be against forwards such as Kylian Mbappé and Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain, who possess sheer pace on the counter.
That said, the Blues could concede goals and still score more than their opponents to win a tie, particularly over two legs.
Kevin De Bruyne will always create chances for his teammates. As long as Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling – amongst others – can take at least some of them, there’s no reason why Guardiola’s side couldn’t triumph against any team.
Only time will tell whether City succeed in their quest for success, but one team stands in their way, and that’s Bayern Munich for various reasons.
Historically, they’re the only team to have won the Champions League and all possible domestic titles in one season, achieving this feat in 2012/13 and again in 2019/2020.
They also won the Club World Cup in 2020, matching the 2009 Barcelona team’s achievement of winning all available trophies in a season.
A former team of Guardiola, they’re not going to give up the crown easily and without a doubt could become the ‘Barcelona’ for the present decade.
If City are to go the full distance, the consensus is that they will have to beat Hansi Flick’s side at some stage between now and the final.
The draw for the quarter-finals – when City will learn who their next opponents in the Champions League will be – takes place this coming Friday.