Manchester City’s dreams were once again shattered after Lyon shocked the side by striking three goals and securing the game in the Quarterfinal in Lisbon, Portugal.
Gabriel Jesus was sitting on the field and crying, nothing could cover his pain at that very time. Raheem Sterling was covering his eyes with his hands and was trying to handle the shock of the Manchester City defeat.
This makes the Lyon players break off their celebrations and console their opponents. Manchester City didn’t reach the semifinal for the fourth consecutive season. Manchester City started as a hot favorite but didn’t manage to win against the passionate and determined Lyon.
Lyon gained his lead in the 24th minute when Maxwell Cornet finished with a clean strike, Guardiola chose to play the game with three men central defense. Manchester City leveled the score by Kevin de Bruyne’s strike by the pass from Raheem Sterling at around 69 minutes.
Former Gaelic striker Moussa Dembele, he was playing as a substitute and managed to revive Lyon’s lead in an ambivalent situation almost 11 minutes from the time. It appears that the video assistant referee ignored a foul by the striker before he ran towards Ederson.
Manchester City tried to equalize the game but Raheem Sterling missed an absolute chance when he sent his finish over the open goal from Gabriel Jesus’ pass. It proved to be hugely expensive as seconds later Lyon made it up to the semi-final match with Bayern Munich when Dembele scored his second goal and took Lyon to the next level of the league.
With this, Lyon managed to grab his position in the semifinal and is set to play against voracious Bayern Munich. Manchester City started as firm favorites in the league but came out second against a fiercely determined French team in this game.
WHAT PEP GUARDIOLA GUESSED WRONG AGAINST LYON?
Manchester City’s dream to lift the Champions League is on halt for another year, but Pep Guardiola (Manchester City Head Coach) should take responsibility after the defeat at the hands of Lyon in Lisbon.
Lyon will not be playing in Europe next season as the team finished at seven in Ligue 1, but how Lyon cut them off in the Quarterfinal by 3-1 defeat; it was not expected by football fans.
Guardiola is not the man who can be against tactical surprises’ and certainly not in this game. Other managers can turn Javier Mascherano from a world-class midfielder to play at center back. But Pep is not that; he should have thought and devised what can be the outcome.
There was no David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden, and no Riyad Mahrez. Only Kevin De Bruyne was the one enigmatic player who can unlock Lyon’s strong defense, but the best midfielder in the world can do much only on its own.
Guardiola told after the full time that;
“We tried to cover up our weak points compared to Lyon’s strong points.” It is regarded as rather surprising from the manager of a world-leading football team.
Guardiola, who has been accused of having an unusual approach when he adopted a three-man central defense and chose many genius minds of Manchester city to sit on the bench.
That was the Lyon who didn’t allow Juventus to strike a goal in the entire 90 minutes; they conceded less than a goal in the game of the league. And while Manchester City has plenty of expertise in taking tight defenses; still they lack creativity and planning in this game.
Before half time, it was visible. Even Guardiola admitted;
“Except in the first 20 minutes, we struggled in the game.”
He introduced Riyad Mahrez after the break to equalize Lyon’s lead. But Lyon had already stabilized by the time and showed admirable spirit and strength to win the game.
Manchester City will claim over the VAR decision that was not penalized what apparently was a foul by Dembele. But the team’s defense after the second half was not commendable either.
Pep Guardiola did not blame that foul for their defeat and said;
“I am not looking for excuses for our defeat; we are out of the league. We were struggling in the first 25 minutes or so but still, we struggled to take hold of the game, I think we were better in the second half. But you have to be perfect in the competition. We have to do more than that, we did some good things in the game but we make a lot of mistakes too. That’s why we didn’t win the game. It’s not delightful, but now it’s time that we have to keep trying and one day we will surely achieve our goal.”
City and Guardiola have not been able to go to the top in Champions League before, but this time Guardiola must take responsibility for the flaws in the game plan.
LYON’S WIDE CELEBRATIONS AFTER THE SURPRISE WIN
Lyon’s celebrations were a sight to see after the time up, and who can even blame them. They deserve this after a spectacular victory and they deserve the credit for that. Despite not being many experts’ favorites, they knocked out Star player Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus before this game and now steal the game against Manchester City.
The team played with resilience and determination and no one ever thought that it can be so easy for Lyon to grab a win from Manchester City, which is undoubtedly the best in the world.
The French side plays with energy and tactical strength and utilizes their opportunities when given the chance especially after Sterling’s horrible miss.
“We won the tactical battle as we plan the game wisely.” Lyon coach Rudi Garcia said.
Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes couldn’t control his happiness and said about the game;
“It’s overwhelming as we won the game, many people were not expecting us to win but then we are a surprise team.”
Dembele was indeed the best from the French side as he scored two goals that took City off from the race towards the semifinal.
Goalscorer Dembele also said after the match;
“We are still in the league; it means we have an exceptional team. We are taking this from game to game slowly; we will try our best against the Bayern.”
Before the match, it was predicted that Manchester City will defeat Lyon easily. But Lyon stuns everyone with the shocking defeat against the favorites. Since then Pep Guardiola has been criticized that he didn’t utilize the tactics against Lyon that he should be, whether it was the foul or strange tactics by Manchester City, they are out of the League.
Bayern Munich is a hot favorite of football enthusiasts after the team demolished Barcelona with 8-2 defeat. But after Lyon’s surprise win against Manchester City, it’s not certain who will win the semifinal.
After 1996, it will be the first time that the Champions League semi-finals will not have a team from England and Spain. This time, it will be France taking on Germany in this pandemic affecting the Champions League in Lisbon.
MAN OF THE MATCH; KEVIN DE BRUYNE
Kevin De Bruyne, who scored Manchester City’s solo goal and attempted almost 17 crosses, more than anyone else. However, he only managed to complete 23 of his 39 passes.
De Bruyne said; “We are a great team but this time we make way too many mistakes. We need to learn, and it was not good enough.”
- Lyon’s Rudi Garcia is the first French manager to take a French team into the Champions League semi-finals after a decade.
- Since working as a manager with Barcelona and Bayern Munich in his seven champions league quarter-finals, Pep Guardiola lost all three times with Manchester City.
- The Champions League will have french and german sides in semifinals this time. Paris Saint-German will take on RB Leipzig and Lyon will take on against Bayern Munich.
- Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne has been involved in striking more goals than any other Premier League player in the 2019-2020 seasons.
- Lyon’s players Maxwell Cornet and Moussa Dembele have scored a total of four goals against Manchester City, making this score even higher than Lionel Messi.
- Raheem Sterling appeared for the 50th time in the Champions League, aged 25 years and 251 days. Before the record for the youngest player was retained by Wayne Rooney in 2010 when he was 24 years and 115 days old.
- Fernandinho appeared for the 58th time for Manchester City in the Champions League, the most by any Manchester City player in the league at this very time.
THE STORY OF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUARTER-FINAL (LYON VS MANCHESTER CITY) IN PICTURES
Lyon’s Moussa Dembele, in the center, celebrates with his teammates after he scored the second goal of the match against Manchester City at the Jose Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon, Portugal. (Pool photo via AP)
Manchester City’s head coach Pep Guardiola is guiding his players during the Champions League Quarter-final against Lyon in Lisbon, Saturday, 15 August 2020. (Pool photo via AP)
Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus is striking the ball in the Quarterfinal match against Lyon this Saturday, 15 August 2020 (Pool Photo via AP)
Lyon’s goalkeeper Anthony Lopes dives to save a goal in the Champions League Quarterfinal match against Manchester City in Lisbon. (Pool photo via AP)
Lyon players are celebrating after they won the Champions League Quarterfinal match against Manchester City. (Pool photo via AP)The Semifinal of Champions League is scheduled for Thursday, 20 August 2020. The match will determine which team will reach the finals to take on either PSG or RB Leipzig, this time Champions League trophy will be taken by French or a German team.