Whilst Manchester City have managed to dominate the Premier League since their takeover in 2008, the same cannot be said for their record in the Champions League.
Season upon season, the Sky Blues have struggled to finally crack the code in Europe’s elite competition and etch their names into the history books forever.
Just last term, it seemed that City were destined to reach the final after Riyad Mahrez’s late goal meant the visitors had extended their lead over Real Madrid to two goals over both legs.
However, eventual champions Los Blancos pulled off a comeback for the ages in the dying embers at the Santiago Bernabéu, courtesy of Rodrygo and Karim Benzema to send the visitors packing in miraculous fashion.
As Pep Guardiola’s side aim to end their hoodoo in Europe this term, they have been drawn against RB Leipzig in their last-16 clash, a team which they faced twice in the group stage last term.
Manchester City’s sporting director, Txiki Begiristain gave his initial thoughts to his side going toe-to-toe against the German giants.
“Leipzig are not new in this competition. They are doing an unbelievable job. They are in Europe, always and fighting us in the last-16, so they are growing as a club and as a project”, he said, as relayed by City Xtra.
Begiristain continued, “This is German football – very open, box-to-box, which we don’t like too much. We like always to have control. So, it’s going to be difficult. We are going to meet old friends, we played last season against them. They were very open games.
We can be sure they’ll be very attractive games. We were able to win the home game, but we struggled a lot. A lot of goals, which is nice for people watching but not for professional people! In the second game, everything was done, we lost.”
While the general reaction from a majority of fans to consider the tie as a walkover for Manchester City, Txiki Begiristain is right in reinforcing the belief that any side can spring a surprise in the Champions League.