Manchester City to play first-ever Champions League final
The Sky Blues have finally achieved the goal they have been after for 13 years. They will get to play their first-ever Champions League final. After two emphatic victories over PSG (1-2 on the away leg and 2-0 at home), they know to go against the Chelsie Blues on an all-English clash that could very well have been the English Cup Final.
Money, doctrine, or both?
It could be argued that this is a success of the money invested by the Emirati owner. As per Guardiola’s statement, City have a lot of money to buy a lot of incredible players. Since 2010, they have spent the most money on player acquisitions: 1.71 billion Euros. The budget for the next summer transfers comes up to an additional 225 million.
On the other hand, it could also be argued that it is a success of Pep Guardiola’s doctrine: efficiency over romanticism. His own statement on the subject:
"Money is not everything. Manchester United also spends money... Chelsea too, as well as Barcelona and Real Madrid... Success doesn't just depend on money, tactics, players, and staff: it depends on all these aspects working together and the general mentality of a club."
The background and the challenge
Manchester City have managed to lift only one European award. The old Cup Winners’ Cup after defeating the Poles of Gornik Zabrze 2-1 back in 1970. When Khaldoon Al Mubarak took over in 2008, his dream was to be the first investor from the Arab countries to lift the Champions League Cup. A dream that was almost lost last year when the Qatari-owned PSG fought against Bayern Munich. The award to the Germans kept it alive.
The Citizens are also coming out of a very difficult season. They lost the Premiership to Liverpool and were disqualified by Lyon. Furthermore, they had never made it any further than the quarterfinals under Guardiola’s watch.
The Catalan has been dubbed as the “king without a crown”. He may have gotten 9 trophies on the island, but he hasn’t been able to reach a final as a coach after 2011. Back then he was heading his beloved Barca.
Getting past PSG
The difference this time was the strong defensive effort in conjunction with a very fast transition game. Usually, Manchester City follow the famous tiki-taka game style that includes plenty of possession, plenty of patience, and players coming up on positions no one expects. This time they went for less possession, leaving the French to do the running around, but maximum efficiency. Riyad Mahrez and the form he has been in recently were the secret weapons. The Sky Blues scored 4 in relatively few opportunities in comparison to what they usually have. Ederson conceded only once. And that was the end of it.
However, the task ahead may be even more challenging. Thomas Tuchel and Chelsie are waiting for the Citizens. The Blues have already disqualified their opponents for the English Cup and they have defeated them at the Premier League last weekend by 2-1, turning things around after having conceded the first goal. It doesn’t look like a street of roses for Manchester City. No matter what happens, you should go ahead and open an original account without limits. You will get a profit whichever team wins the final.