Pep Guardiola directs his Manchester City players at the Bernabéu.
Revel in the irony: in fact it might be even as the good rupture comes that Manchester City eventually produce an excellent European performance.
Enlightenment is achieved through the abandonment of desire. And yet even within that irony there are deeper ironies, the suspicion that an excellent European performance might not even have been necessary, the suggestion that Pep Guardiola’s true opponent was less the 11 men in several coloured shirts than himself, and therefore the realisation that good as City were, this Real Madrid are deeply ordinary, little quite the memory of a team despite their branding.
But who knows what strange process of attrition can undo a team? Who knows what demons could also be raised by finding yourself thwarted at every turn by an opponent playing during a way that was entirely unexpected in order that you, the foremost successful team within the competition’s history, find yourself chugging around fruitlessly reception ahead of a crowd that, even at 1-0 up, was audibly restless? simply because Madrid collapsed within the final 17 minutes after Raheem Sterling came on doesn’t mean they necessarily would are vulnerable to him from the off, before Dani Carvajal had been run into the bottom by Gabriel Jesus, who produced a supremely disciplined performance on the left before shifting into the center to equalise then end Sergio Ramos’s tie.
When a practical approach has been adopted, it’s reasonable to guage it on its merits. Did Guardiola’s plan work? Manifestly it did: City beat Madrid for the primary time, had much the higher of the sport , scored two away goals and will now undergo to the quarter-finals. And yet Madrid were so poor, so pedestrian, it had been hard to not ponder whether Guardiola’s uncharacteristic embrace of caution – City had only 30% possession within the opening 20 minutes against a side that weren’t exactly looking to impose themselves – weren’t how of combatting his own history the maximum amount because the opponent ahead of him.
Which isn’t a criticism – or a minimum of not of Guardiola or City. Games are won and lost on many fronts and one among them is within a team or a manager’s own psyche. Guardiola bears the scars of European ties lost to soft goals conceded, often in clutches: to Real Madrid in 2014, to Barcelona in 2015, to Monaco in 2017, to Liverpool in 2018, to Tottenham last season. even as Alex Ferguson accepted after the defeat by Madrid within the quarter-final in 2000 that it’s not enough to be better than the opponent, you furthermore may need to take risk out of the equation as far as possible, so Guardiola did everything to make sure there would be no sudden two- or three-goal blast against his side. judi bola terbaik judibolaterbaik.co