The UEFA Champions League has reached the business end of the competition. It's knockout football. There is no margin for error, there can be no more slip-ups. Ahead of the round of 16, we take a closer look at how Man City made it through the group stage and assess their chances of marching into the quarter-finals.
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
Pep Guardiola’s Man City adventure into the Champions League got off to the perfect start as they destroyed Gladbach 4-0 on Matchday 1, before their defensive frailties were exposed in a 3-3 draw at Celtic and 4-0 destruction of their own at the hands of Barcelona. A famous victory over the Catalans in the return ultimately proved enough as they closed out the group stage with two more stalemates.
MOST EXCITING MOMENT
City hosted Barca on Matchday 4 desperate to bounce back from their trouncing at Camp Nou. Their UCL campaign appeared to be unravelling when Lionel Messi gave the visitors the lead, but City rallied to launch a sensational comeback as İlkay Gundogan struck either side of a Kevin De Bruyne goal to seal a famous 3-1 on one of the club’s greatest European nights to date..
Overcoming Barca’s MSN was supposed to be the toughest task facing Pep’s side in the group stage, but their chances of progression were always going to rely on getting the better of Celtic and Gladbach. Three of City’s four matches against those two ended in draws, but remaining undefeated against them secured progression from the group stage.
Raheem Sterling has played major role in City’s progress in the competition so far and has now been directly involved in 10 goals across his last nine Champions League starts (five goals, five assists). The England international hit goals in high-scoring thrillers against Celtic and Monaco and his pace will be vital to City’s chances of making to the quarter-finals..
CHANCES OF PROGRESSION
City hold a commanding lead after a 5-3 victory over Monaco in the first leg. Eleven of the previous 13 times a side has scored 4+ home goals in the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie, they have gone on to progress. Pep’s side remain favourites but, with another glut of goals expected in the Principality, the tie is far from over ahead of what promises to be one of the most thrilling nights of the competition so far.