City are in the Champions League semi-finals
Kevin de Bruyne scored the only goal of the game as Manchester City earned a 1-0 victory over Laurent Blanc’s Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night. The result meant that City secured a 3-2 aggregate success and have booked their place in the final four of Europe’s elite club competition for the first time in the club’s history.
Meanwhile, the French side – who have already notched the Ligue 1 title this season – crashed out at the quarter-final stage for the fourth year in a row. But it could have been much worse for Blanc’s men. Sergio Aguero missed a first-half penalty and City squandered a number of half-chances to keep PSG’s faint hopes alive.
But when it mattered most of all, City’s £55 million man stepped up to the plate. De Bruyne curved his 25-yard effort past the outstretched Kevin Trapp in the PSG goal to send the home supporters wild. The Belgian has been incredible since returning from injury and City will be hoping the 24-year-old remains fit for what could be an exciting last month of the season.
City need a full squad to compete with Europe’s elite
Ultimately, City’s chances will hinge on two key aspects: firstly, luck. You simply cannot win the Champions League without a bit of luck and so far, Lady Luck has been on Pellegrini’s side. And with Pep Guardiola set to replace the Chilean at the end of the current campaign, it would be ironic if City were to beat Bayern Munich in the final of the competition.
But perhaps most importantly, Manchester City will need everybody fit. The Blues are a much better side with the likes of Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Yaya Toure in the side. City’s core is still extremely strong but one or two injuries could be detrimental to their chances – especially if they lose their captain for a prolonged period once again.
Pellegrini’s men will fancy their chances of success but luck and injuries will play a crucial role – more so for City than Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid. However, it’s in their own hands. If the City boss gets his tactics spot on, there’s no reason why the Blues cannot end an inconsistent campaign with the dream result.
But do City have what it takes to win the competition?
Without a doubt, Manuel Pellegrini has plenty of talent at his disposal. From the dependable Joe Hart to the creative genius David Silva, City have match winners all over the field – and that’s exactly what you need to win the Champions League. And with inspirational captain Kompany set to return from injury in the coming weeks, City are well placed to challenge.
City have come a long way since first appearing in Europe’s elite club competition in 2012. Prior to this season, the Blues had failed to advance past the last-16 round and that makes their achievements this campaign all the more impressive. And with City struggling to keep pace at the top of the Premier League, Pellegrini’s men should invest their full focus and efforts on the Champions League.
Assuming that both Bayern and Barcelona advance, City will be the weakest team remaining in the competition but from here, it’s all about grit, determination and hunger to succeed. Pellegrini will have his troops fired up for the next round and, with a bit of luck, Blues supporters may well be booking their flights to Milan for the final on May 28th.