Manchester City 1-3 Olympique Lyon
Manchester City fails again in the Champions League at the quarterfinal stage. For the third time in a row Pep Guardiola’s men are unable to reach the final four of the competition and stop at the quarterfinal stage. Their best performance in the UEFA Champions League came in 2016 when they reached the semifinals just to be defeated by one goal against the future champions Real Madrid of Cristiano Ronaldo and coach by Zidane.
After Liverpool in 2018, Tottenham Hotspur in 2019, Lyon in 2020 sent the Citizens home in 2020 at the quarterfinals. Although the French club had a terrible domestic season finishing 7th in French Ligue 1, they played better in this game. They scored when they needed the most against a very mediocre Man City’s defense.
Lyon opened the score in the first half by Cornet who loved to net goals against the Citizens. The Lyon player has scored 4 times in their last three meetings including this match. The French led at the break.
In the second half, Man City pressed on and finally got the goal they needed to level with Lyon by De Bruyne. The Belgian international was the best player on the pitch for Man City. With a overwhelming ball possession over 70% City merited to equalize in the game. But, the defense was not focused and lost concentration on Lyon’s counter-attacks. Substitute Dembélé scored the second goal just 10 minutes after City’s equalizer to give the French the lead again.
Sterling the big missed chance
At 2-1, City continued to pressure and had the opportunities to get back in the game. Gabriel Jesus found space in the box, centered the ball for Sterling who, wide opened and 5 yards out, put the ball above target. What an incredible missed opportunity that was. Lyon would punish Man City right away thanks to Dembélé who completed a brace in less than 10 minutes. Olympique Lyonnais did not look back and cruised to 3-1 victory leaving Pep Guardiola and his men in shock.
Pep Guardiola addresses the media after Man City’s loss to Lyon:
“Of course, I am not able with these guys to break the quarter finals. Three years in a row we are out.
Life is how you stand up again and next season we will try again. Now it’s time for the players to take a break. We will give them as many days as possible.
Next season we will be strong and demanding. We will now try to sleep, pass 48 hours and then think about next season.”
Kevin De Bruyne added:
The game was open, but (Lyon) didn’t really create too many chances.
“We need to learn – it’s not good enough. That’s it. The first half was not good enough and we know that, we started slow and did not have options.”
Former Lyon player and current sporting direct Juninho on reaching the semis for the second time in club’s history:
“There is a lot of merit to be given for this evening’s performance. The players have incredible energy. It takes a family, an energy, a team that plays with humility, and who plays for each other to do these kinds of things.
It is deserved for all the players, for all the staff. They have put in a lot of effort. They have gained a lot of maturity during this extended period of training. know this competition is very difficult. The substitutes once again have made the difference. Moussa Dembélé did everything right.