OPINION

No more excuses for Guardiola in the UEFA Champions League

Guardiola will be well aware of how much he needs to win a UEFA Champions League trophy with City
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Just before Messi got booted out of the UEFA Champions League last night, Pep Guardiola and Manchester City were involved in the latest Premier League controversy.

“In-cre-dible,” was how the Spaniard described the decision not to award a penalty by VAR after Jon Moss had missed the initial error as his side continued the inevitable march to league glory.

“Losing 2-5 I don’t make a comment, after you win you can do it, otherwise it looks like an excuse,” Pep added.

True.

The penalty decision was atrocious.

And if City had dropped points, some may have argued he was giving excuses.

So, the fact his side managed the win ensured last night was the perfect opportunity to pinpoint the inefficiency of refereeing.

That’s a story for another day.

But City are all but Champions of England!

Their closest rivals are 14 points behind them, albeit with a game in hand.

By the end of the season, the Citizens would have won three of the last five Premier League crowns.

That’s domestic domination if you ask me considering his team has reached such heights as 100 points and 21 consecutive wins.

Guardiola needs to win a UEFA Champions League trophy at Man City

However, the jury is still out in Europe and that’s one problem Pep must not only face but conquer.

It’s been four seasons of near misses.

Not near misses in terms of even getting closer to the holy grail. Pep’s team haven’t even matched his predecessor’s semifinal height.

First, in his first season, his team was so bad defensively, they conceded three at home to a young AS Monaco side.

Guardiola’s Man City have cracked under pressure in the UCL

They ended up crashing out of the Round of 16 after losing 3-1 away from home.

Then, the Cityzens went a step further by reaching the last 8 in the 2017/2018 season but that was all the positive. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool beat them home and away.

A season later, Aguero missed a penalty in the first leg before a last gasp Raheem Sterling winner was ruled out for offside as City were booted out by Tottenham.

And just last season, an inexplicable performance saw Man City lose 3-1 to Lyon.

One dominating feature in all four exits is that the Cityzens were favourites against almost all of their opponents.

Still, they fluffed it.

Guardiola’s golden chance for UCL glory

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus and Lionel Messi’s Barcelona are already out of the competition this year.

Real Madrid aren’t a force like when they won it three years in a row.

Bayern may be defending champions but they aren’t infallible.

PSG may have knocked out Barca but nothing in Wednesday’s performance showed they are Champions-in-Waiting.

The exit of giants like Barcelona and Juventus should embolden Guardiola and his players

Home crowds won’t be much of a significance due to the coronavirus pandemic.

So, it’s now or never for Pep.

Win it and his already legendary status goes one step higher.

Lose and the unending fraud debate will continue.

Over to you, Pep!