Manchester City and Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez believe that Manchester City are in a good time to win the Champions League for the first time in the history of the club. He stressed that though the club might not be the best in the world, the club has the kind of players and coach that are good enough to win the 2019-2020 Championship League season.
Before coronavirus pandemic halted the season, Manchester City was preparing to welcome Spanish La Liga giants Real Madrid to the Etihad Stadium in Manchester for the second leg of the round of 16 match. The Premier League club won the first tie in Madrid 2 goals to 1.
In the match, Manchester City took advantage of a 10-man Real Madrid team to get the three maximum points from their host. Gabriel Jesus and De Bruyne’s goals were enough to cancel out Isco’s goal for Madrid. The match became easier for City because the captain and the main defender of Madrid Sergio Ramos was sent off from the match.
When the coronavirus pandemic is contained well enough for the Champions League to return, Real Madrid will face Manchester City in the second leg without their captain due to the red card awarded to him in the previous match. Hence, Manchester City is most likely to scale through the quarter-finals ahead of Real Madrid.
Prior to the round of 16, City picked up 14 points in Group C to finish seven clear at the top, winning their first three games – at Shakhtar Donetsk (3-0) and at home to Dinamo Zagreb (2-0) and Atalanta (5-1) – before their four-game winning streak in the UEFA Champions League ended with a 1-1 draw in Italy. The city was then also held 1-1 at home by Shakhtar on Matchday 5 but finished the section with a 4-1 success at Dinamo.
The club has scored 30 goals in their last ten UEFA Champions League matches; since losing at home to Lyon on Matchday 1 last season (1-2). This is Manchester City‘s ninth UEFA Champions League campaign and their seventh successive round of 16 appearances.
The Pep Guardiola’s side has won 13 of their last 21 European matches, home and away, losing six. Away from home, it is seven wins in eleven matches, most of their away defeats come from Premier League clubs. The last game they lost abroad was at Shakhtar (1-2) on Matchday 6 of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League.
Manchester City is the defending champions of the Premier League for the second season running and sixth overall – four of those titles came in the last eight years. The club also lifted the FA Cup and League Cup in 2018/19 season, becoming the first English club to win all three domestic trophies in one season.
“I think it is a good time to win the Champions League,” 29-year-old City winger Riyad Mahrez said. “We have the team, we have the manager, we have everything, so it is a good time.
“I don’t know if we are the best, but we are good enough to win it. The Champions League is difficult, everyone wants to win it, so it is going to be a big battle.
“It was a bit long without football, but we adapted and now we are back, so it is good. With the pandemic going on [training at home and doing online sessions with the group] is something we had to respect and now we have come back to training it is very good.”