After the frantic game against Monaco on Tuesday, it’s probably a good time to look at some of the Champions League games that Manchester City have been losing but then rallied to win. The situation in each is different and, while City are still a young team in the top European competition, there are still some that remind the fans of days gone by.
5. Manchester City 2-1 Sevilla, 2015-16
Manuel Pellegrini’s side needed three points to keep up with group leaders Juventus. They played a strong Sevilla team who went up through Yevhen Konoplyanka in the 30th minute. City levelled through an Adil Rami own goal five minutes later. With the game looking set for a draw, Kevin De Bruyne cut the ball to his left and slotted home the winner in injury time. The victory was pivotal for City as they would go on to top the group.
4. Bayern Munich 2-3 Manchester City, 2013-14
After going 2-0 down in less than 15 minutes, the game looked done and dusted for City. However, a strike from David Silva and a cool penalty from Aleksandar Kolarov levelled it up. Then, just after the hour mark, James Milner netted a quality goal to see City turn the match around and take the lead.
If Pellegrini’s side could have scored once more – and they easily could have – then they would have finished top of the group for the first time in the competition, ahead of their opponents. In his post-match interview, the manager didn’t seem to realise that another goal would have done it on head-to-head record.
3. Manchester City 3–2 Bayern Munich, 2014-15
After four games without a win in the group stage, City had it all to do against a formidable Bayern side if they were to qualify for the knockout phase. City were awarded a penalty after a rash Medhi Benatia tackle, giving Sergio Aguero the chance to open the scoring from the spot. Benatia also received a straight red card.
However, the visitors scored two goals within five minutes towards the end of the half, through Xabi Alonso’s free kick and Robert Lewandowski’s header.
City continued to struggle for the majority of the match, though knew a draw would keep their hopes of qualification alive heading into the final game of the group. On 85 minutes, Aguero capitalised on a defensive slip and equalised – he then sealed his hat-trick to win the game.
City would go on to secure second place after beating Roma in the last fixture of the group stage.
2. Manchester City 3–1 Barcelona, 2016-17
Early on in the game, Raheem Sterling was clearly fouled by Samuel Umtiti inside the box, but the referee instead booked the winger for diving – wrongly. As it transpired, the visitors scored first after a blistering counter attack and it was their main man Lionel Messi that finished off the move.
City could have sunk, but they fought back late in the first half, as Ilkay Gundogan finished from a Sterling cut-back. It all came because of pressure on the Barcelona defence from Aguero. Kevin De Bruyne gave City the lead with a magnificent free kick after the turnaround, before the star of the night, Gundogan, sealed the victory for City.
It was a huge statement for Pep Guardiola’s City to make.
1. Manchester City 5–3 Monaco, 2016-17
This game just has to be number one on the list. It had everything: mouthwatering goals, scorching counter attacks, horrible decisions from the referee, and non-existent defences. City took the lead through Sterling, but it was short lived as Radamel Falcao headed in from a great cross soon after.
Monaco took the lead through 18-year-old wonder kid Kylian Mbappe and it wasn’t looking good for City at the break.
The hosts struck back through Aguero, levelling the score, but Falcao struck again with a magnificent chip two minutes later. City could have crumbled at that point, but instead they went to work and took a firm hold of the tie.
Aguero from a stunning volley, John Stones with a tap in at the back post, and a beautifully worked goal that was finished by Leroy Sane put the home side in command. This was perhaps the most exciting match the Etihad has ever seen.
Written by Nihad Ademovic
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