Football

Manchester City once again prove their inability to shine in Europe after latest defeat

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Wednesday's Champions League clash from Group D between Juventus and Manchester City was a typical European night for the Citizens based on their recent history.

The Premier League powerhouse had a crucial game against a major European side and yet again they failed to show any progress, as Juve secured a 1-0 win.

As two fairly even-matched sides locked horns in Turin and the Bianconeri just edged a narrow win, we can't take too much from the result. However, it seems that, despite being loaded with talent and experience, City are always on the wrong side of these type of encounters.

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While we can suggest City's inability to convert chances and their lack of any defensive solidity are major issues in their play, it seems that the main problem of Manuel Pellegrini's men is their attitude.

The manager pointed out that they've been hit hard by injuries and didn't give any credit to their opponents, who are struggling with some key injury problems of their own. The absence of the likes of Sami Khedira, Roberto Pereyra and Kwadwo Asamoah left Juve short of midfield options yet again, but Massimiliano Allegri filled that void by playing Stefano Sturraro - who arguably performed better than all of City's first choice midfielders.

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Pellegrini's statements seem very excessive, as he somehow missed the fact that sheer luck and several outstanding saves from Joe Hart against Alvaro Morata, Mario Mandzukic and Claudio Marchisio kept them in the game.

If that wasn't the case, the result could and probably should have been much worse for the Citizens, despite the fact that Gianluigi Buffon produced some magnificent stops as well.

As there were refereeing mistakes at both ends, actually the English side is the one who should be counting themselves fortunate, as at least one of Fernandinho, Bacary Sagna and Fabian Delph could have been easily sent off. Each produced a number of hefty and booking-worthy challenges, which were not duly punished by the referee.

After failing to qualify from their groups in both 2011/12 and 2012/13, City were eliminated by Barcelona in the round of 16 for the following two seasons.

The first two continental disappointments were explained by a lack of experience and European pedigree while 'bad luck' was once again targeted as the reason for the Citizens' elimination from the tournament when they drew the Catalan giants two years in a row.

However, during this half-decade City have invested heavily and gained valuable experience and therefore, everyone was expecting a response from their star-filled side.

Unfortunately for Pellegrini's men, this season is on the verge of becoming another European disappointment for them. They have already lost twice to the first European titan they have faced and have been fortunate to secure second place in the group after escaping with last-minute wins against struggling Sevilla and Borussia Monchengladbach sides.

As Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid have already secured top spots in their groups, we have to wonder if the 'bad luck' excuse will begoing to be rolled out again if the draw determines City to play against one of these sides?

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Topics:
Sergio Aguero
Manchester City
Premier League
Football

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