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Manchester City at the UEFA Champions League: Why they aren’t Bottlers

Manchester City has grown into one of, if not, the deadliest football team on the planet and while they are yet to lift a UCL trophy, it still feels unsuitable to call them Bottlers

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Last updated: 09.08.2019
Manchester City at the UEFA Champions League Why they aren't Bottlers | Sports Social Blog

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There was a time when you wouldn’t associate Manchester City with a victory. The word you’d look for was mid-table. Then came 2008 where City was purchased by the Abu Dhabi Group and sooner rather than later, everything changed for the better. Jumpcut to 2019 and Manchester City are the definition of victory accruing a never-seen-before 198 points over the past two seasons. They became the first and only team to score 100 points on the Premier League Table(‘17-18). The won the domestic treble and most recently even the community shield against the seemingly nigh-invincible Liverpool, the team that recently won the UEFA Champions League. Speaking of the UEFA Champions League, despite their indomitable nature in regards to football, Manchester City has never won the UEFA Champions League. They always looked strong but were unfortunately bested every time in the Champions League. What’s odd is that despite their failed efforts at lifting the grandest title in club football, is that you’d hesitate to call them bottlers in the UCL.


It seems that with every attempt at the UCL, something just didn’t go their way rather than them choking on the opportune moment. In the season where they lifted the PL title for the first time in 44 years, they were knocked out of the group stages of the Champions League. It happened all over again in the following year despite their top of the line football in the league. 

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In 2015-16, Man City made it all the way to the semi-finals only to lose to the kings of the UCL, Real Madrid after two draining games ending up an aggregate score of 1-0 to RMA. You could hardly call that bottling considering, they lost to what was arguably the best team on the planet at the time, especially considering they went on to win the UCL.


In the 2016-17 season, City lost to Monaco in the Round of 16 in a two-match thrill ride where the end result was 6-6(Away goals). While veterans like Radamel Falcao, David Silva and especially Sergio Aguero came out with jaw-dropping performances, players like Leroy Sane and Kylian Mbappe conveyed the fact they would become the biggest names when it came to young talent. A duo of games too incredible to utter the word ‘bottling’ yet again. 


In the 2017-18 season, they made it a step further in the UCL in the quarter-finals only to be knocked out of the competition by Liverpool in a 5-1 thrashing. They were just overwhelmed and almost taken by surprise by Liverpool’s front three, considered to be the best in the world. Alex Oxlade Chamberlain didn’t make things easy either, scoring one of the best goals of the 2017-18 tournament with a rocketed shot from behind the penalty box.

 

Man City vs Tottenham: One of the greatest matches you’ll see


 

Manchester City were looking incredibly sharp in the 2018-19 season. They had regained their lead from Liverpool (and they eventually went on to win the PL). They were confident after thrashing Schalke 7-0 in the QF stage and advancing to the FA Cup finals (which they went on to win). The European treble looked within their grasp and they would’ve been the eighth team to do it and it would be Pep Guardiola’s second. The records all seemed a hair’s breadth away. Tottenham Hotspur dampened that run of glory with a 1-0 victory over the Cityzens with a 78th-minute goal from Son Heung-Min. Now onto the greatest second leg of all time. Man City were trailing 1-0 and there was an air of cautious optimism despite the loss. From the get-go, it was nothing but unbreakable tension. Just 11 minutes have passed by and the match was 4 goals deep courtesy of Son, Sterling and Bernardo Silva. Kevin DeBruyne who has grown into one of the best players in world football had an incredible game and produced some brilliant attacks and assists. The overall lead changed constantly during the match and glory seemed near when Aguero made the scoreline 4-2 but all that was brought down to earth by Llorente’s 73rd-minute goal. The drama was far from over as towards the end of the game Raheem Sterling put the nail in the coffin of Tottenham by scoring a goal from the no. 9 positions or so it seemed. In a moment that dialled the rage gauge of all Manchester City to 11, the VAR displayed ‘No Goal… Offside’. The match drew to a close with the scoreline reading 4-3 with Manchester City as the victor but Tottenham advanced to the finals on away goals. One of the most nail-biting matches in history. No one in their right mind would call  Manchester City ‘bottlers’ or anything of the sort after a game like that.

 

Despite losing the  UCL semi-final by the slimmest of whiskers, Manchester City kept at it and went on to win consecutive games all the way to the end of the league, lifting their 4th PL trophy in 8 years. That, in and of itself is why calling Manchester City bottlers is not exactly correct. Manchester City, despite not winning the UCL trophy so far, still seems to possess that indomitable spirit and elite level of skill. The team was not perturbed by the UCL loss and still managed to win the league despite walking on eggshells with Liverpool just one point away. They did clinch the domestic treble. Manchester City seems to be just a team personifies hunger, competitiveness and that never-give-up attitude, even when the curveballs are thrown at them. That is why people root for them to win the Champions League despite their history at the competition. And in effect, that is why they are not bottlers.


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