The Manchester City fans were drowning their sorrows in the Transfer Tavern this weekend after suffering an astonishing 3-2 defeat against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.
The stage was set; 16 points clear, the Carabao Cup already in the bag and just a single victory against their local-rivals away from mathematically securing the Premier League title, but Manchester City missed a once in a lifetime opportunity to clinch England’s greatest footballing prize on Saturday evening as they slumped to a 3-2 defeat in Manchester. City rarely do things the simple way, but at half-time it appeared they were en route to recording a routine victory over United after Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan put the Citizens 2 ahead at the break.
However, City’s day in the sun will have to wait for another day, as a Paul Pogba brace followed by a Chris Smalling winner completed a stunning turnaround in a mesmerising Manchester derby. It was a bitterly disappointing day for the club, but in reality, the result counts for nothing in the context of City’s success this season.
On the other hand, City’s fixture against Liverpool tomorrow evening could prove to be the difference between a fantastic season and an exceptional one. Pep Guardiola’s side are 3-0 down from the first-leg and facing a mammoth task in the second-leg, but it’s difficult to bet against them considering the quality of City’s attacking players.
After losing two of his most crucial fixtures of the season, Guardiola has a point to prove tomorrow night, and fortunately for the Spaniard, he should be able to call upon City’s talisman and all-time top-goalscorer, no other than Sergio Aguero (valued at £67.5 million by Transfermarkt) to lead the line. Gabriel Jesus was tasked with spearheading City’s attack at Anfield last week, and unfortunately for the young Brazilian, he struggled to make an impact in a high-pressure fixture.
Jesus is bound to go from strength to strength in the season to come, but he still has plenty to learn in the game, so a player of Aguero’s experience will certainly represent a wiser starting option in the second-leg. Aguero was introduced into the derby for the final 14 minutes on Saturday evening after returning from injury, but he failed to alter the outcome of the game despite his best efforts.
With a 3 goal deficit to overturn, there is only one man Guardiola can justify starting at the tip of his attack against Liverpool tomorrow, and if the Argentine can discover his finest form at the Etihad Stadium then he might just fire City into the semi-finals of the Champions League in the most dramatic style.
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