Man City’s best chance to conquer Champions League? – Pat Nevin analysis


Manchester City marched into the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a thumping 7-0 have shut over Schalke on Tuesday evening, to total a 10-2 combination have shut.

They’ve handiest as soon as long gone extra than the final eight, in 2016 after they lost to Accurate Madridwithin the semi-finals.

City boss Pep Guardiola has described his club as beinglove “childhood”in Europe’s elite club competition in consequence of that lack of pedigree at this degree, but will this be the year they arrive of age?

Pat Nevin, who became co-commentating on the Schalke sport for BBC Radio 5 reside,explains why he believes City maintain what it takes to transfer the entire way to the final in Madrid on 1 June – but warns there are lots of explanation why things may perchance perchance perchance well hotfoot cross… including Cristiano Ronaldo.

The motorway-up for the the final eight of the Champions League will be accomplished on Wednesday evening when Bayern Munich play Liverpool and Barcelona have on Lyon. The design for the quarter-finals is on Friday

‘The finest personnel, player for player and the finest squad too’

Nevin:“At their very most effective I would aid City to beat anyone in Europe. The mutter is it’s miles a knock-out competition now, and they’ll want to be at their most effective every time.

“Within the event that they maintain a misguided half-hour within the Champions League, then that is it – they are long gone.

“They’re going to want some honest correct fortune too, for sure, and portion of that will be getting the apt opponents in Friday’s quarter-final design.

“There are so great of things titillating that handiest a fool would yelp that any personnel will completely have shut the Champions League – but when you asked me if City are correct sufficient to lift shut it then, sure, I suspect they are.

“Player for player, they are the finest personnel left in it if everyone looks to be fit – and within the event that they create rep accidents then they maintain obtained the finest squad too, the deepest of any of the teams left within the competition.

A chain of accidents has intended De Bruyne has began handiest 12 of City’s 38 games in all competitions this season

“Let’s yelp, City maintain needed to manage with out Kevin de Bruyne for a pleasant chunk of the season, which would crush moderately a few teams because he is so shiny.

“It has no longer affected them too great, though. They are so solid they maintain no longer passed over one player, no much less than no longer yet anyway, and they maintain a genius of a manager because they play such out of the ordinary football too.”

‘The final stretch is when things in truth rep tricky’

Nevin:“The biggest mutter City maintain obtained is the identical one as Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham, which is that it’s miles tough to lift shut the Premier League, and even to rep the tip four, and development in Europe too.

“Our teams will never rep a fracture day or a straightforward sport domestically the set up they’ll think ‘oh we are able to leisure a few right here’ and keep their legs for mighty Champions League games.

“While you glance on the aspects from in varied areas who maintain improved, then they’ll all invent that to a couple degree. They completely invent no longer maintain to place the identical depth that our top golf equipment will rep in every league match, dwelling or away, between now and the stop of the season.

“I suspect that is one of the most causes that, for a few years now, English golf equipment maintain no longer accomplished as properly in Europe as they’ll must maintain accomplished.

“They desires to be dominating, with the money we maintain in our sport and the calibre of avid gamers who maintain arrive to the Premier League, but Chelsea are the final English personnel to lift shut the Champions League, in 2012.

“This year, we maintain four English teams left in it, which is extra or much less the problem I suspect we will must maintain had for some time. They are all attainable winners too, particularly City, in consequence of the depth of their squad.

‘No longer a case of now or never – but plan desires to be the final’

City are top of the Premier League and retained the Carabao Cup final in February. They are into the quarter-finals of the Champions League and the FA Cup and are chasing an out of the ordinary quadruple

Nevin:“I would no longer name it failure if City invent no longer have shut the Champions League, in consequence of the calibre of the teams in it, and furthermore since it relies on a explicit quantity of honest correct fortune.

“Within the event that they take care of the Premier League title, which I take into consideration they’ll invent because they are the finest personnel, while scoring the assortment of targets that they create, then this will be a shiny season for them even within the event that they miss out again in Europe.

“But, given the circumstances, and particularly within the event that they rep a counseled design, they desires to be aiming to rep to no much less than the semi-final and perchance to attain the final.

“I suspect they’ll be disappointed within the event that they create no longerrep it to Madrid,because they in actuality desires to be there.

“It is rarely any longer a case of now or never, though, no topic the specter of a which that you simply can imagine European ban or transfer embargo that is inserting over their heads whileUefa and Fifa study them.

“For the time being, every of these eventualities are ‘maybes’ and when you are a player and even the manager you then can no longer invent anything about them.

“They correct maintain to focal point on what is in front of them, and I will be able to no longer stumble on them doing anything differently correct because there may perchance be some vague extra stress somewhere that the upper echelons of the club are coping with.

“I suspect it’s miles unlikely City will be banned from the Champions League next year.

“Within the event that they are banned from making signings then I maintain a look on the neighborhood who played Schalke and furthermore some of the childhood coming thru and think ‘no, right here’s no longer your final likelihood’.”

Who can stop them? Ronaldo can…

Ronaldo obtained the first of his five Champions League titles with City’s competitors Manchester United in 2008

Nevin:“No one idea Chelsea would be champions of Europe in 2012, but they obtained the apt design and the entire lot correct fell into explain.

“What City also can quiet take into accout is that became no longer the finest ever Chelsea facet – some distance from it – but it completely is lauded and remembered now as the personnel that obtained the Champions League because they obtained a chance, and they took it.

“So, City also can quiet be ready when that moment offers itself, and have honest correct thing about it too.

“With Ajax beating Accurate Madrid, Manchester United beating Paris-St Germain and Juventus under stress after dropping the first leg of their final-16 tie to Atletico Madrid, I believed this season’s design became opening up for them.

“I became asked earlier than City and Juve played this week whether I believed of City favourites for the tournament and I stated ‘sure, a little’.

“Now I am no longer so particular. While you hotfoot aid to Pep’s feedback that City are childhood on this competition, then Juve are anything but. They are the grown-united states of americaand I would rep them joint-favourites with Pep’s facet now.

“Whereas you are attempting to lift shut the Champions League you then would slightly they had been out and, of the entire teams in Friday’s quarter-final design, they are the ones that City will want to place properly obvious of.

“They are so properly organised on the aid that they’d perchance perchance fully frustrate them, and for sure they maintain obtained a passe Manchester United player in Cristiano Ronaldo who would moderately utilize to beat City, I query.”

Pat Nevin became speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan

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