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The highs and lows of Pep Guardiola as Manchester City boss

Pep Guardiola suffered further Champions League frustration as Manchester City were knocked out of the Champions League by Lyon on Saturday.

Here, the PA news agency looks at Guardiola’s highs and lows during his time at the Etihad Stadium.

Highs

Premier League glory

Guardiola learned the lessons of his first frustrating season in England, and responded to his critics, by leading City on an unstoppable march to the title, their third in seven seasons. They secured the prize with a then record six games to spare as nearest rivals Manchester United were beaten by West Brom. Several players celebrated by joining fans in the pub.

Record-breaking centurions

City beat Southampton on the final day of the 2017-18 season to reach 100 points (John Walton/PA)

City did not stop at winning the title in 2018. They went on to finish their season with a record 100 points. They also scored 106 goals and won 32 matches, also both records.

Title repeat

City held off Liverpool to retain the title in 2019 (Nick Potts/PA)

City faced a much stronger challenge from Liverpool in 2018-19 but successfully defended their title after an outstanding run-in. Liverpool set the early pace, lost only once all season, and led heading into March but City responded with a stunning run of 14 successive wins to retain the crown. Liverpool hardly cracked under the pressure, winning their last nine themselves, but City nervelessly held on.

Cup wins

Guardiola has got used to collecting cups (Mike Egerton/PA)

Guardiola claimed his first silverware in England with victory over Arsenal in the 2018 Carabao Cup final. It is a competition he has come to love, winning it twice more since. In 2019 they saw off Chelsea in the final and they then beat Aston Villa this year.

Treble triumph

The Premier League and Carabao Cup successes of 2019 formed the first two parts of a unique domestic treble in English football. It was won they completed with an emphatic 6-0 rout of Watford in the FA Cup final.

Lows

Leicester thrashing

Guardiola made a superb start after his arrival at City in the summer of 2016, winning his first 10 matches with some scintillating football. However, the shortcomings in his squad soon became evident and they were ruthlessly exposed in a 4-2 hammering at Leicester in December 2016. City went on to finish 15 points behind eventual champions Chelsea, prompting a summer of major transfer investment.

Monaco misery

Kylian Mbappe was a thorn in City’s side when they lost to Monaco (Martin Rickett/PA)

Guardiola’s first Champions League campaign with City ended in a madcap loss at Monaco in the last 16. City’s problems were evident in the first leg but they should have got away with them after a 5-3 win. Instead they went out on away goals after a 3-1 loss in the principality.

Anfield agony

City may have been outstanding in 2017-18 but away trips to Liverpool, where they have not won since 2003, were again their undoing. The Reds beat them 4-3 in their Premier League clash at Anfield and 3-0 in their Champions League quarter-final, all but eliminating them prematurely again. In both games Liverpool enjoyed 10-minute purple patches in which they scored three goals.

Wigan woe

Another low moment in the otherwise excellent 2017-18 season was a shock loss at League One Wigan in the FA Cup fifth round. Will Grigg scored the only goal 11 minutes from time after Fabian Delph was sent off for a bad challenge on Max Power – an incident which led to a heated row between Guardiola and Wigan boss Paul Cook in the tunnel.

Spurs shock

City went from ecstasy to agony when a late winner was ruled out against Tottenham (Martin Rickett/PA)

City’s bid for the Champions League in 2018-19 ended at the hands of Premier League rivals Tottenham. Sergio Aguero missed a penalty in a first-leg defeat in London before City went out on away goals despite winning a breathless second leg 4-3. Controversy raged after VAR allowed a Spurs goal despite an apparent handball and disallowed a dramatic late City winner.

Lyon loss

City endured a number of lows as they surrendered their Premier League crown to Liverpool this year, but the most disappointing blow came in the Champions League. The club had high hopes this time with a number of big rivals out and a new streamlined format being a potential aid, but losing to a more unfancied Lyon in Lisbon was hugely anticlimactic.

Source:

www.breakingnews.ie

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