For the third consecutive year, the Spanish technician will not see the semifinals of the C1 with Manchester City.
"I did not come to Manchester City to win the Champions League." Fortunately, one would be tempted to add to this amazing phrase dropped by Pep Guardiola on the eve of C1's quarter-final return against Tottenham. Because the failure would be all the more boring. He is already scathing.
A terrible emotional lift for Guardiola
For the third consecutive year, its Citizens stop even before the semi-finals. After AS Monaco in 2017 in the 8th finals (5-3, 1-3) and Liverpool in quarter-finals in 2018 (3-0, 1-2), it's Tottenham who took advantage of the defensive largesse of the defending champion of England to climb for the first time in his history in the final four of the Champions League (0-1, 4-3). At the end of a crazy return round. Marked by this terrible emotional lift lived by Guardiola at 93e minute.
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At that time, Raheem Sterling had deceived Hugo Lloris for the fifth time. Plunging the Etihad Stadium in total joy. Hysterical rendering the Spanish technician. Liberated from a burden, delivered from a curse, Guardiola exulted like never before. Gambadait in every way. Without knowing where to go. Before jumping into the arms of his staff. Except a few seconds later, referee Cüneyt Çakir canceled this important goal after using the VAR, due to an offside by Sergio Agüero, decisive passer. The sky had just fallen on the head of the coach Mancunian, knees to the ground, head in the hands.
"Tottenham must be congratulated, the best team has passed"
"It's hard," he acknowledged afterwards. We are not far from passing. It's cruel, but you have to accept it. It was a good match for everyone. We did everything in the second half. We must congratulate Tottenham, the best team has passed. "A very dignified reaction. Class itself. Like his statements on video assistance, his worst nightmare Wednesday night: "I support the VAR. I am for a fair football, for fair decisions. If he (Agüero) is offside, he is offside. "
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Fine words that will surely not suffice to alleviate the criticism of the English press against him. They will rain. Necessarily. This new premature elimination, facing a team far from being a giant of the Old Continent, stains in a CV already leaded by its inability to hoist Bayern Munich on the roof of Europe (from 2013 to 2016). It's simple, since his departure from Barça in 2012, after two C1 in the pocket (2009 and 2011), Guardiola lost the "mojo". Despite the millions swallowed by Abu Dhabi for three years to build a formidable offensive armada and rebuild entirely a defense, City does not arrive on the European scene.
A lack of balance shouting
"We are teenagers in this competition," the Spanish technician dropped before scoting Schalke 04 in the round of 16 (7-0). As if to remind those who have a short memory that the Citizens have reached the semi-finals of the Champions League only once in their history. This statistic is still valid today. His remark too. The observation remains the same. Too much want to invent hybrid tactical systems, with an exaggerated addition of offensive players, Guardiola goes astray. With a shouting tactical imbalance and a defense without any dike to protect it from incessant waves.
Wednesday night, City tried everything for the whole. With the only Gündogan in a "defensive" environment, surrounded by De Bruyne and David Silva. This has certainly allowed spectators and viewers to feast. To attend a crazy game. With five goals scored in 21 minutes. Never seen in C1. But in the end, the champion of England has nothing under control. Letting yourself be overwhelmed easily with the slightest gust of wind. "We have to get up and react," Guardiola said. You have to sleep, tomorrow, recover. We do not have time". From Saturday, it will indeed return the cover in the league. Again against Tottenham, his executioner. "We fought for nine or ten months for the Premier League and we can still win it (City is 2e two points from Liverpool but one game less, Ed). It's hard, but we have to fight to the end. " Because if Guardiola did not come to Manchester City to win the Champions League, not sure he came to settle for a Coupe de la Ligue, won in February, and a possible FA Cup (final against Watford in May) …