Defeat to Liverpool Must be a Wake-Up Call for Manchester City

Pep Guardiola’s dream of an undefeated Premier League season came crashing down around him in mid-January, with Liverpool’s free-flowing attacking play causing Manchester City numerous problems at Anfield, with the Reds recording a 4-3 victory in a thrilling encounter, where the art of defending was thrown out of the window by both sides.

That defeat was City’s first of the Premier League season, and it highlighted that Guardiola was still yet to resolve all of City’s problems, particularly in defence. Other defeats might will follow, however, it is hard to look past the Manchester club for the Premier League title, with neither Manchester United nor Chelsea able to mount a serious challenge.
Pep Guardiola’s dream of an undefeated Premier League season came crashing down around him in mid-January, with Liverpool’s free-flowing attacking play causing Manchester City numerous problems at Anfield, with the Reds recording a 4-3 victory in a thrilling encounter, where the art of defending was thrown out of the window by both sides.

Since that defeat to Liverpool, there have been very few people casting doubt over their title credentials, with it more than likely Guardiola will pick up his first English title in May. However, City are on the path to more than just the Premier League, and perhaps the trophy they crave most is the Champions League, where, so far in 2017/18, they have also impressed.

Guardiola guided his side through the group stage with ease, and now City are tasked with a clash against Basel in the last 16. The Premier League outfit are overwhelming favourites against their Swiss opposition, despite Basel handing City’s rivals, Manchester United, a 1-0 defeat during the group stage. Basel are outsiders here, with William Hill pricing them at 7/1 to beat City when they travel to Switzerland in mid-February for the first-leg.

Basel showed their class by beating Jose Mourinho’s side in the group stage but, as City have shown domestically this year, they are far superior to their city rivals, with Guardiola’s side a lot more fluent in their attack and continuing to play with real freedom right across their starting XI.


duke-0525” (CC BY 2.0) by Thomas Rodenbücher

City have never conquered in Europe but it is not just the club suffering a drought in the competition, with Guardiola failing to make a huge impact on the biggest stage of all in recent years – even with a star-studded Bayern Munich team, who made short work of their Bundesliga competition.

Guardiola will be wary of how his Bayern side failed to transform their league form on the European stage, and will be doing everything in his power to make sure that is not the case for Man City. Bayern would often fall in the late stages of the Champions League knockout, when they had little else to play for domestically, a position that City could very well find themselves in.

City’s defeat against Liverpool will have served Guardiola a wake-up call that his side can be beaten this season if they aren’t at their defensive best. Such is the lead City have built up in the Premier League, the chances are they can afford the odd slip-up and still win the title. However, in Europe, if Guardiola is to deliver the club’s first European title, the Spaniard will have to ensure his side keep full focus towards the latter stages of the competition.