Manchester City may have never been in a better position to win the Champions League than they are currently, especially considering their robust squad. They were within two minutes of a second consecutive final last season and have since bolstered their lineup by acquiring Erling Haaland.
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What are the main reasons why Manchester City have not won the Champions League yet?
Based on their boss and coach's statement, the primary reason Manchester City has yet to win the Champions League is Real Madrid!
Guardiola was questioned in an interview why, despite unrivalled domestic success at the Etihad Stadium, his team has failed to win European football's top trophy.
Because Madrid has always been there, he replied stoically. Los Blancos have dominated the Champions League in recent years, sweeping five of the last 10 tournaments, including three consecutive championships between 2016 and 2018.
Last year, City hoped to reach the final after losing to Chelsea in the 2021 final, but Real Madrid fought off a miraculous comeback at the Bernabeu to win the 6-5 semi-final on aggregate.
In recent years, much has been made of Guardiola's pursuit to win another Championship, something he has not accomplished since leading Barcelona to victory in 2011. Given the caliber of players available at City, it's strange that things haven't linked yet, but before the start of this season, Pep stated that winning the tournament has not been an obsession. However, does this mean you can count the Sky Blues off? Absolutely Not!
The Haaland Effect
If you've noticed the dramatic shift in Man City's temperament this season, you can point out the reason: Erling Haaland!
While it's not that the Citizens were not dominating the league before the arrival of the Norwegian star, however, after his arrival, the team looked very threatening and hungry for goals which are evident as he has already scored 18 goals in the league games and 5 in the UEFA Champion league! While the Pep-lead team is sitting in second place behind Arsenal, who are having a dream run this season, most experts believe that City will dethrone the Gunners and continue its dominance over the English league.
Steve McManaman, a former midfielder for Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Manchester City, has commented on Haaland's debut for City.
McManaman stated that 14 goals in 10 games are remarkable. If he (Haaland) continues to perform at this level, City's chances of lifting the Champions League will undoubtedly increase. He further stated that anyone who makes an already excellent team a little bit better would make that team extraordinary.
With Haaland, they look to enhance their finishing position, and the report explains how crucial goal timing may be. 23 % of all goals in the competition were struck after the 76th minute, while over 50% of wins in the knockout round were earned with a goal scored after 70 minutes. It is also noted that scoring first resulted in a draw or better in 88% of matches in which a goal was achieved, with the scoring team winning 72% of the time.
Guardiola is often highlighted for his roster utilization since he utilized 26 players last season, which was tied for fifth in the tournament. Despite this, they averaged the fourth-fewest substitutes per game at 3.6. With replacements scoring in 38% of knockout rounds and more goals and assists in the second half than the first, Guardiola might use his bench to get the most out of his players and seal victories, especially if he's working with a smaller group this season.