Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was the subject of ridicule from fans online on Thursday, following his team’s heartbreaking elimination from the Uefa Champions League by Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Guardiola, whose side took a 3-2 lead to the semi-final second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, was seconds away from sealing a place in the final after Algerian international Riyad Mahrez scored a brilliant goal in the 73rd minute to make it 4-2 on aggregate. But Madrid had other ideas when substitute Rodrygo scored twice in one minute to level the tie 4-4.
Karim Benzema extended Madrid’s lead on the night via the penalty spot after the game had gone to extra time to send the 13-time winners into the May 28 final against Liverpool, leaving Guardiola and his players in disbelief.
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A number of theories have been thrown around by fans as to why the Citizens lost, with the Spanish coach bearing the brunt of the criticism as Guardiola, City and Madrid became the top trending topics on Thursday.
Some even went to the extent of suggesting that Guardiola is feeling the effects of a ‘curse’ following comments made by Dmitri Seluk, the agent of former City midfielder Yaya Toure, who suggested ‘African shamans will never let him win the Champions League’ after he left him on the bench for most of the games in his final season at the club.
Some even went as far as saying Guardiola will need to apologise to the ex-Ivory Coast international if he is to win the Champions League again.
A section of fans questioned Guardiola's tactics, which have seen him win a total of 29 trophies with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City in 13 years as a coach.
Even with his outrageous trophy haul, there are some fans who want the coach dismissed for failing to lead City to continental glory given how big they have spent in his six years at the club.
Guardiola and his players have no time to feel sorry for themselves as they must regroup quickly ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash at home to Newcastle as they chase a fourth title in five seasons.
City are top of the table with 83 points but have little margin for error, given Liverpool are just a point behind.
Is Guardiola cursed in the Champions League and are fans right to call for his sacking? Share your thoughts below.