After a hard-fought second leg against Real Madrid, Manchester City find themselves in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League’s Quarterfinals.
The Sky Blues overcame a difficult opponent in Los Blancos, and they are now one step closer toward potentially winning their first-ever Champions League title. Manchester City will face Olympique Lyonnais in this season’s quarterfinals.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the quarterfinals and semifinals of this season’s Champions League have been reduced to once match, rather than the typical two-legged fixtures. These matches will also be played at neutral venues in Portugal.
With these factors in mind, the changes will make the knock out stages much more difficult as the cup-style matches could be anyone’s game.
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As City prepare for this fixture, the Englishmen will use recent history and will examine their previous errors as they prepare for the match against Lyon.
City are already familiar with Lyon, as the two sides were paired against one another during the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League group stage.
During their previous encounters, Lyon shocked City at home, where the French won 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium. The reverse fixture in Lyon ended in a 2-2 draw. City dominated both fixtures, as they had the majority of possession, had more shots on goal, completed a greater number of passes and earned more corners than their opponents.
Nonetheless, the Frenchmen were clinical in these matches, and they were defensively sound when it mattered most.
Now, as City prepare for this quarterfinal fixture, their performances against Lyon last season can help them prepare for the matchup this season.
On many occasions throughout various competitions in 2019/20, Manchester City dominated their opponents, but they failed to be clinical. City’s inability to score goals in these vital moments cost them dearly in these matches, such as their league games away against Norwich City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Manchester United and Southampton, and against Arsenal in the FA Cup Semifinals.
In addition, Lyon eliminated Juventus during Champions League’s Round of 16 this season, meaning the French will have a lot of motivation going into this tie.
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Finally, the reduction of a two-legged fixture to just one match will favor Lyon, as the Frenchmen know that a goal scored on a counter-attack and a solid defensive display holding onto a simple 1-0 result will be just enough to see them advance to the Champions League’s semifinal.
In other words, City will need to be prepared for this tie.
Overall, Manchester City underestimated their opponents before, and they failed to be clinical during these previous exchanges. The Sky Blues would be foolish to replicate these errors again.