Manchester City have been an ever present in the Champions League since 2011, but have previously struggled in the group stages. Tonight, the blues face Shakhtar Donetsk for the second consecutive season, but how have the blues performed at this stage previously?
2011 – City 2-1 Villareal
A 1-1 home draw with Napoli on the Champions League debut was followed by a 2-0 defeat at Bayern Munich, and the match against Villareal was critical for City’s chances of qualification. And things looked worse for City as they conceded a goal in the fourth minute. City levelled through an own goal just before half-time as their hopes of a win hung in the balance.
It stayed like that throughout the whole of the second half, until Sergio Aguero popped up and scored the winning goal three minutes into injury time to give the bluss their first ever win in the competition, and reignite their chances o qualification.
2012 – Ajax 3-1 City
The Premier League champions were drawn in a group of champions and had narrowly been defeated by Real Madrid in the opening match, before scraping a 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund in the second match. Once again, the blues entered the match needing to win, but it wasn’t to be,
Samir Nasri gave the blues the lead on 22 minutes, but conceded on the stroke of half-time. They went on to concede another two in the second half as their second Champions League campaign ended in disaster.
2013 – CSKA Moscow 1-2 City
In October 2013, Manuel Pellegrini took the blues to CSKA Moscow on the back of a 3-0 win at Viktoria Plzen in the opening match and a 3-1 home defeat to Bayern Munich. CSKA took the lead on 32 minutes, a lead that last around 120 seconds as Sergio Aguero quickly levelled. The Argentine striker then struck again before half time to give the blues the lead and ultimately the win as the blues marched towards qualification from the group for the first time.
2014 – CSKA Moscow 2-2 City
After victory the previous season, another win was pretty much expected. However, City had lost at Bayern (again) and drawn at home to Roma, so once again, qualification was in doubt. Sergio Aguero and James Milner gave the blues a 2-0 half-time lead, and it should have been enough to secure their first Champions League win of the season.
But the blues defensive frailties in Europe were on display again, as they allowed the Russian side back into the match. City were four minutes from victory when they conceded a penalty, which was converted and a win soon became a draw.
2015 – City 2-1 Sevilla
The blues faced another Spanish side at this stage, and once again vectored, but as usual had to come back from a goal down to win. The visitors took the lead on 30 minutes, but an own goal brought the blues level.
With the game heading towards a draw, Kevin de Bruyne scored the winner in the first minute of injury time to give the blues a vital win.
2016 – Barcelona 4-0 City
Another Spanish team, but no last minute winners on this occasion as Pep Guardiola’s City are crushed at the Nou camp. It wasn’t so bad at 1-0 down at half-time, but City capitulated in the second half and Barca, with Lionel Messi in particular, ran riot.
The Argentine completed his hat-trick by the 69th minute, with Neymar completed the scoring with one minute to go to issue the blues with their heaviest Champions League defeat to date.
2017 – City 2-1 Napoli
Pep’s second season in charge saw the blues win all but one match in all competitions prior to the match, and the game was billed as an eagerly anticipated contest between two unbeaten and high-scoring sides. The blues threatened to run riot, with Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus scoring after just 13 minutes.
But new manager, same City that wants to give their fans a heart attack. Napoli were awarded a second penalty of the match and, after missing the first, saw this one hit the back of the net to set up a nervy finish for the blues. City held out and recorded their third straight win in the Champions League.
How will City go on tonight? Join us for our live blog this evening.