Liverpool has a great advantage going into the Uefa Champions League quarterfinals second-leg. They lead 3-0 against Manchester City from first-leg. Many will believe that Reds are already in the semifinal and they have every reason to think so. Uefa Champions League has witnessed 126 occasions of the 3-0 lead, and leading team have won the tie 119 times. It‘s 94.4% result in favour of the first-leg winner. Manchester City has a slight chance but you can never rule them out.
Citizens are in more trouble with their Manchester derby defeat. They were looking forward to a win against their city rival to clinch the Premier League title. They were leading 2-0 at first-half, but they end up losing 3-2 after full-time. Premier league leader suffered two defeats in the same week. First against Liverpool in Champions League who have already defeated them 4-3 in the league, and then against Red Devils.
It really took a toll on team morale and Pep Guardiola himself has accepted that. He told Reuters, “It’s difficult for our mood not winning and yeah, that can happen. But maybe we will improve for the future on that, to realise that sometimes it’s not enough what you’ve done to win games. I came here in the first-half to try to do what we have done all season, but maybe it’s not enough to win at Champions League level or the Premier League.”
But the good thing is that Manchester City manager is aware of his mistakes and eager to correct himself. He accepted that he has lost many games within the span of 10 to 15 minutes despite dominating the game for most of the time.
He said, “I thought many times about that… I have dropped a lot of Champions League games in the space of 10 to 15 minutes. Maybe it’s my fault. I have to think about it. But I feel that when you dominate and create chances you are closer to winning games and I think this season showed that.”
Your manager plays a big role when going gets tough. Guardiola is a top manager, he’ll surely be able to lift the morale of his squad. But, it’s not only managers’ job, City players need to uplift themselves. They are playing in a great team, they can’t lose their confidence after losing two games. they need to leave behind what happened in past at past.
Manchester City needs to overcome their fear and fight back as a wounded lion. They need to take inspiration from Jose Mourinho’s half-time pep talk during Manchester derby and how United players reacted to that. Mourinho said, “We don’t want to be clowns standing there watching them get their title”, and what happened after that we all know.
Liverpool has everything to lose here. They will visit Etihad stadium with the 3-0 lead. Their players will have a lot of confidence; they’ll fresh as they got rested in Merseyside derby. City has nothing to lose, their players will be little exhausted after Manchester derby defeat as they gave their 100% on Saturday. But, it’s time when your true sportsmanship is tested. How you recover after losing and get back on your feet. A slight chance, but you can never rule out…