Man City 1-3 Lyon: Raheem Sterling produces horror miss in Champions League exit

  • Kobe Tong

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Manchester City have suffered yet more Champions League heartbreak with a quarter-final exit against Lyon on Saturday night.

The delays propagated by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a World Cup-style tournament in Lisbon that ramped up the pressure even more on a City side desperate for European success.

And the Champions League quarter-finals had been blockbuster viewing going to the final clash of the four, particularly after Bayern Munich's historic 8-2 demolition of Barcelona on Friday night.

Manchester City vs Lyon

But RB Leipzig's dramatic late win over Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain's last-gasp turnaround against Atalanta were similar indications of the drama on display in Portugal.

Naturally, Pep Guardiola's men came into the game as heavy favourites, especially after defeating Real Madrid in the round of 16, but Lyon are proving themselves to be 2019/20's dark horses.

Though the French side have struggled domestically this season, their historic win over Juventus last week sent a clear message to a club that has only reached the competition's semi-finals once.


Lyon take the lead through Cornet

And it was indeed Lyon that drew first blood in the Portuguese capital, taking the lead in unexpected circumstances when a defensive mix-up left Ederson stranded in no man's land.

The Brazilian shot-stopper had to sheepishly back-track towards his own goal goal, but Maxwel Cornet made the Citizens pay by finishing delightfully at the near post on his left foot.

De Bruyne's outrageous pass

And Lyon's advantage remained intact until half-time, though it didn't survive without any threats from City star man Kevin De Bruyne, who produced a stunning outside-of-the-boot pass.

The Champions League assist of the season would have been all his to keep if Raheem Sterling had found the net, but the underdogs survived to necessitate a massive team talk from Guardiola.

The Spanish coach, who raised eyebrows with his initial team selection, was eventually forced to roll the dice in the second-half and introduced Riyad Mahrez in the hope of finding an equaliser.

Nevertheless, it was De Bruyne yet again who proved the biggest threat for the Premier League side, warming the gloves of Anthony Lopes with an almost identical free-kick to his Chelsea goal.

De Bruyne draws Man City level

And he went one better in the 69th minute with the goal that City so desperately desired, finding the bottom corner with a measured right-footed finish after Sterling turned provider from the left.

Lyon take the lead again

However, if anything, the equaliser seemed to breathe new lift into the Lyon attack and they shockingly took the lead once again courtesy of Manchester United target Moussa Dembele.

The former Celtic striker sweetly converted a one-on-one finish, albeit via a deflection from Ederson, but it was the VAR controversy surrounding the goal that made it so juicy.

Just one year on from City's VAR heartbreak against Tottenham, the technology once again went against them with the offside Lyon player deemed not to have influenced play.

Sterling's horror miss

However, the most agonising moment for City came when Sterling bottled a major opportunity to draw the scores level, somehow producing one of the Champions League's worst ever misses.

Just about everybody watching at home had the same reaction as Guardiola, dropping to their knees in disbelief as Sterling dropped a clanger akin to infamous Burnley miss.

Ederson's terrible Lyon error

And then, just when it looked as though things couldn't get any worse, Ederson made a terrible error of his own to send Lyon into the semi-finals at 3-1.

It goes to show that you can never predict anything with much certainty in the Champions League.

Each season seems to produce a team of underdogs that gets everybody dreaming and it appears that Lyon have inherited the mantle from Ajax as they prepare to lock horns with Bayern.

And even if they're on the receiving end of an 8-2 drubbing of their own, they'll never forget the day they gave one of the greatest managers in history one of his biggest ever upsets. 

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