Manchester City finally succeeded in decoding the European Football League with a deserved 2-0 victory over Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, to beat 4-1 in aggregate for the two semi-final matches, and reach the final for the first time.
After stumbling in previous rounds in the Champions League in the past four seasons, coach Pep Guardiola has focused on this competition to answer any questions related to his leadership of this club.
Guardiola told reporters, “Reaching the final of this competition is very difficult. This is the most difficult competition because of the strength of the opponent and the cohesion that you must show in order to pass the most difficult moments.”
Citizens have already collapsed under the pressure of those moments in the last four seasons.
Last season, City lost 3-1 to Olympique Lyonnais, while in previous seasons they were eliminated by Tottenham, Liverpool and Monaco.
Finally, Guardiola said, “I have stayed in my memory for weeks and it was painful, and I cannot deny it.”
Many questioned whether the Spanish coach’s fondness for this competition made him think exaggerated during the crucial knockout matches, or conveyed his tension to the players, but things were different this season.
The “Heavenly Team” did not reach the final, contrary to expectations, but rather guaranteed appearing in Istanbul after winning every knockout match at home and abroad.
In addition, he did not lose throughout the tournament this season, winning 11 times and drawing one match.
Over the years of Guardiola in England, Man City presented impressive offensive levels, but, especially in Europe, he suffered major defensive problems.
As for this year, he added to his offensive strength defensive strength, as he has conceded 4 goals in the Champions League so far.
City proved successful in choosing to sign Robin Diaz, the Portugal defender from Benfica.
The 23-year-old’s arrival helped develop Germany’s defense similar to what Virgil van Dijk did at Liverpool before winning the Champions League two years ago.
Young Phil Foden – who was gradually pushed by Guardiola – gained experience and succeeded in compensating for Raheem Sterling’s absence from his level.
Riyad Mahrez, who scored the two winning goals on Tuesday, blossomed, as well as Ilkay Ghandogan developed with a distinctive image of a player capable of occupying all positions in midfield.
In past years, the English team would bid farewell to the European Championship after losing focus and calm during crucial moments in matches.
But he showed solidity and maturity this season, and this was clearly demonstrated in the home and away matches against Paris Saint-Germain, in which he imposed his control.
City will wait in the final match Chelsea or Real Madrid, and regardless of whether the confrontation will be purely English or against the 13-time European champion, Guardiola’s team will be the favorites to win.