Manchester City’s Love-Hate Relationship with the UEFA Champions League Continues.
Last night, I had the pleasure of being in possession of a press pass for the UEFA Champions League fixture between Manchester City and FC Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium.
In the vernacular of one wizened old hack at the end of the match, it was a “cracking game of football” lit up by some fine performances, not least from Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta. FC Barcelona ran out 2-1 winners thanks to a brace from Uruguayan number nine and public enemy (outside of Liverpool) number one Luis Suarez.
In a rather belated return of favour, I wrote an on-the-fly piece about the game for my good friend Christoph Wagner, author of the website “An Old International”. Below is an extract from the piece but please do click through to read on!
Rumours circulated on Monday that the Manchester United Museum and Tour experience had sold out completely over two whole days. Purportedly, this was due to the influx of FC Barcelona supporters into Manchester for the UEFA Champions League game against cross-town rivals Manchester City.
This fact will not bother City supporters in the slightest…
Fresh from a 5-0 home drubbing of Newcastle United, City manager Manuel Pellegrini insisted in the programme notes that he was sure that everyone watching would see his side “trying to play in the same way we did against Newcastle and in the second half at Stoke.”
Barcelona are not Newcastle United, though. And there is the added complication of the tie being played over two legs.
Pellegrini was true to his word from the off. His line-up and formation (4-4-2) spoke of confidence. The first half proved that confidence to be misplaced.