Reaching the Champions League semi-final, and losing to Real Madrid by a single goal over two legs, is hardly something to be too concerned about.
However, given the performances that Manchester City gave, many people have criticised them, stating that it lacked any sort of desire.
During the 180 minutes, Manuel Pellegrini’s side mustered up just two shots on target during the 0-0 result at home and the 1-0 defeat at the Bernabeu.
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But, it wasn’t the attacking display that Jamie Carragher was disappointed with. As a Champions League winning defender himself, the Liverpool legend tweeted twice during the match in the Spanish capital to question the City backline.
In truth, the away side were rocked after skipper Vincent Kompany limped off after just nine minutes. But, the defensive line of City was all over the place and regularly played the Madrid attackers onside.
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The deciding goal came from one of those incidents. Some defenders held their line on the edge of the penalty box, while centre-back Nicolas Otamendi retreating in an attempt to mark Cristiano Ronaldo. He played Gareth Bale onside whose cross deflected off Fernando and over Joe Hart.
After seeing this, Carragher slammed the City back-four with two tweets in quick succession.
He said: “Defenders stop playing offside, just run back!!”
Followed by: “This City obsession with holding or getting to the edge of the box is a joke.”
If there’s one man who knows about defending on the big stage, it’s Carragher. He led Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2005 before reaching the final with the two years later.
But, it wasn’t just the defending that frustrated Carragher. After the final whistle, the Sky Sports pundit summed up City’s performance over the two games.
“Can’t believe how bad Man City performed in both games. Looked completely overawed,” he said.
It’s a view that is shared by many people, despite the difference being an unfortunate own-goal.
Roy Keane, who won the Champions League with Manchester United, also believed that City failed to perform against Los Blancos.
“We have seen over the two legs that they are still well short. They needed their big players to perform tonight and they never turned up,” he said on BT Sport, per the Daily Mail.
City will probably regret not being more positive in the first-leg at the Etihad last week. Madrid were missing Cristiano Ronaldo through injury and were there for the taking. However, Pellegrini seemed fairly content to take a 0-0 draw to the Spanish capital.
On Wednesday night though, they were second best. Madrid dominated throughout the 90 minutes and were unlucky to have only scored once, finding Joe Hart in magnificent form. On the other hand, Keylor Navas in the Madrid goal had a very quiet night, making just one save.
But City will no doubt have learned from this experience. It was the first time they have reached the last four in the competition and, with Pep Guardiola arriving in the summer, could use this defeat to spur them on to better things next season
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