An impressive display from Monaco which knocked Manchester City out of the Champions League has meant Pep Guardiola will be out of European competition for the first time before the semi-final stage since he began as coach.
In his previous three seasons with Bayern Munich, and the four with Barcelona before that, the Catalan boss had always managed to reach that stage of the competition, although it is clear his City side are not near that level yet.
Guardiola won two of the four semi-finals with the Blaugrana, eventually winning the final against Manchester United on both occasions.
In 2009/10, his Barcelona lost to eventual champions Inter, whereas in 2011/12 they were knocked out again by eventual champions Chelsea.
With Bayern Munich however, the Germans looked likely to make the final but were knocked out by Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico in subsequent seasons.
The FA Cup is the only remaining shot Manchester City have at picking up any silverware this season, barring a miraculous league run and Chelsea collapse.
Guardiola’s stay at City was only envisaged by some to be a walk in the park, but the coach’s first season in charge at
Eastlands threatens to be a huge anticlimax.
In the advent of their exit on away goals to Monaco in the Champions League, Guardiola can point to one or two unfortunate individual errors to explain his first failure to reach the quarter-finals, but the issues have been piling up since day one.
The public fallouts with Yaya Toure, later redeemed by the ex-Barcelona boss, and Sergio Aguero were marked as symptoms of a lack of control in his early tenure but problems on the pitch have refused to go away.
An FA Cup semi-final spot represents City’s only realistic chance of silverware now they’ve been kicked out of Europe, Manchester United having ended their early season hopes in the EFL Cup.
Still third in the Premier League, Guardiola cannot dream of lifting the title that Chelsea have strolled 10 points clear with, as instead the Citizens’ guaranteed qualification for next year’s Champions League must be attended to, demonstrating yet another shock to the system that the coach had not been used to while in LaLiga or the Bundesliga.
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