Manchester City can talk about individual moments. They can point to the volley that Gabriel Jesus fluffed and to Raheem Sterling’s miss. They can quibble about Lyon’s second goal, the collision between Moussa Dembélé and Aymeric Laporte and the offside that wasn’t given. They can probably convince themselves they were unlucky. But the fact remains that in four years under Pep Guardiola, the most lavishly funded project in the history of football has never got beyond the quarter-final of the Champions League. This wasn’t about misfortune. This was about Guardiola, once again, deviating from his usual formula in a big European game and imposing a structure on his side that seemed to hamper it. There is something archetypal in the drama: a genius, tormented by his desperation to win one tournament. This is Greek – the hero not merely unable to escape his fate but inadvertently engineering the circumstances in which it plays out – but it is also Buddhist: desire leads to suffering, and only in its absence can nirvana be attained. The ill luck of a decade ago has developed into a tendency to overthink. 2010 semi-final: Barcelona beaten 3-2 on aggregate by José Mourinho’s Internazionale, undone in… Read full this story
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