Manchester City are out of this season’s Champions League after being knocked out by Liverpool at the quarterfinal stage by a 5-1 aggregate score in favor of the Reds after a 2-1 second leg win for the away side. The Blues were simply sensational at the Etihad, but the lethal counter attacking of the Reds and a horrible performance from the referees combined to knock City out of Europe, and the Premier League title is now the only chance of glory for Pep Guardiola and his men.
Gabriel Jesus scored in the second minute of the match following a tremendous effort from Raheem Sterling, and that set the stage for an avalanche of relentless attack from City, who kept pressuring and pressuring and pressuring to find the second goal. But a combination of luck and good defending meant Liverpool still had only a one-goal deficit.
Oh, and there was help from the referees too, who inexplicably denied Leroy Sané a goal when the German was completely onside and the ball was passed to him by a Liverpool player. The Blues were denied a second just before the end of the half, and their job was still impossible at halftime.
After the whistle, Pep Guardiola confronted the referee and was sent to the stands, which made City’s job even harder.
The controversy at the end of the first half had a clear effect on the Blues, who lacked the intensity and relentlessness we saw before halftime and just couldn’t put together good attacking moves. Liverpool looked more dangerous on the counter with Mohamed Salah moved to the center forward spot, and the Reds’ best player came through again and scored a beautiful chip to equalize and effectively end the tie.
The tie was definitely over when Nicolas Otamendi made a bad mistake at the back and Roberto Firmino beat Ederson to give Liverpool the lead and a place in the semis. City made a desperate attempt to get some kind of consolation, but their heads were down and they couldn’t do anything.
This is a really bad way to exit the Champions League, but I guess there’s not a good way either. So what should be a dream season is now a complete nightmare, and the Premier League is the salvation instead of the cherry on top. Typical City.
Man City: Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Laporte; Fernandinho; Bernardo (Gundogan), De Bruyne, Silva (Agüero), Sané; Sterling, Jesus
Goal: Jesus (2’)
Liverpool: Karius; Arnold (Clyne), Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Chamberlain, Wijnaldum, Milner; Salah (Ings), Firmino (Klavan), Mané
Goals: Salah (56’), Firmino (77’)