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Champions League: Can Man City conquer Europe?

The Quarter-Finals of the UEFA Champions League are over with different interesting outcomes.

Bayern Munich bowed to ‘monster’ Haaland and Man City who have been in blistering form as the season comes gradually to an end.

Man City trumped Bayern 4-1 on aggregate over two legs, while AC Milan defeated Napoli 2-1 in an all-Italian Quarter-finals.

Inter Milan also thrashed Benfica 5-3 on aggregate over two-legs to qualify for the last-4 where they will square up with AC Milan in an all-Italian Semi-Final.

Current Champions, Real Madrid, booked their place in the Semi-Finals after dismantling Chelsea 4-0 over two legs and they are to face Man City in a repeat of last year’s semi-finals where they defeated City 6-5 on aggregate to qualify for the finals to defeat Liverpool to win the prestigious trophy.

Man City’s sojourn in UCL

The English Champions have qualified for the Champions League Semi-Finals three times in 2015/2016, 2020/2021, and this 2022/2023 season. The most memorable was their 1-0 defeat to Chelsea at the Finals in the 2020/2021 season.

Last year, Man City suffered one of their most devastating defeats in European history against Real Madrid who dashed Pep Guardiola’s side’s hopes in just 12 minutes of brilliance with two rapid goals from Rodrygo Goes and then a last-minute penalty to knock City out of the competition.

Hope in the Horizon

With City’s trouncing of Bayern in the quarter-finals, their hope of clinching the title has been reignited and their opponent in the Semi Finals, Real Madrid, makes the tie interesting.

City will hope to avenge their embarrassing defeat at the hands of Madrid when they travel to Spain in a must-win match at the Santiago Bernabeu.

City appears to be better than last season as evident in their display against Bayern in the quarter-finals. They now play compact football, with all players realising they cannot be dominating matches at all times.

Another factor which may figure in City’s favour is their ‘monster’ striker, Erling Haaland who has been in scintillating form with 12 goals in the Champions League this season alone and 48 goals in all competitions.

Although Madrid have won the competition a record 14 times, including five in the last nine editions, City can be sure of coming out top if they remain the sturdy side they have become this season and if they see themselves on par with the Spanish giants.

“I had a feeling we would see them. All clubs know if you want to win the Champions League you need to beat Real Madrid.” said Man City’s Coach, Pep Guardiola.

Optimism for City Players

All odds may be against Man City, being that Real Madrid know what it takes to win the Champions League and having defeated City last year, they will still have that confidence in dashing the hopes of the reigning EPL champions yet again, but City will need to be brutal if they are to inflict any serious pain on Madrid.

“We will go for it definitely. We always go for it, but we feel the team is very, very confident at the minute. I think we are going through,” Man City Midfielder, Bernardo Silva said.

Man City must limit the influence of Vinicious, Rodrygo and Benzema on the game. City must plan to stop the ever-impressive Luka Modric and Toni Kroos from dictating play. If they do that, the trophy may well be theirs to win.

With all City have done to reach the Semi-Finals, the question remains: will they eventually conquer Europe for the first time in modern footballing history?

Writing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade; Editing by Tony Okerafor