CITY AIM HIGH
Despite winning the league and the FA Cup in the last three years, Manchester city have been very poor in the Champions league. They have been knocked out at the group stages in the last two seasons, which have also been the first time they have been in this competition.
As a result of their poor performance in Europe, manager Roberto Mancini lost his job at the end of last season. He has been replaced by South American Manuel Pellegrini, who has a reputation for doing well in Europe. He has managed to guide relatively unknown teams like Villarreal and Malaga to the latter stages of the competition.
In Mancini’s defence, City had one of the toughest groups in the last two seasons. This time around, it is no different because they will be in the group along with the holders of the competition – Bayern Munich. CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen are the other teams in the competition. City will be beginning their campaign with an away match against Viktoria Plzen, who are making their debut in the Champions league. Striker Sergio Aguero thinks that the team will be able to finally do well in this competition because of the signings they have made in the summer.
“The Champions League sometimes allows semi-surprises. Dortmund were finalists last year and Chelsea in 2012 – they were good teams and tactically well-organised but were certainly not considered the best at the beginning. We have Bayern again, but we also play CSKA and Viktoria. Get past the first stage and, with luck, you can get to the final,” said Aguero. City have spent close to £ 100 million in strengthening the team after the departures of Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli in the last six months.
However, they have started their league campaign with indifferent form.