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Madrid are out of the Champions League courtesy a swashbuckling City, Pep deserves it

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Madrid are out of the Champions League courtesy a swashbuckling City, Pep deserves it

This time he didn’t overthink it. This time he didn’t bottle it. Yet, this time, like severally before, he did what he knows doing best. He chose another grand stage to deepen his name in 24-karat gold. By the time football is done and managers are ranked, Pep must be enviably placed. Football coaching is simple after all – adopt a philosophy, or better, birth one and muster courage to master it.

 

Tonight, the Etihad truly symbolically has earned a spot in a league of epic European night venues. It provided the deck on which Madrid were heavily floored; floored finally after myriad suffocating punches in the face. When you earn promotion into a class as a smart student, you announce your presence by toppling the brightest in the class. That way, you become a class act on campus.

 

 

 

Madrid are out of the Champions League courtesy a swashbuckling City. The king bows to the prince on his way out. After 1-1 in the first leg, it was anybody’s game. If Madrid were angry, City were hungry. Anger often consumes your strength before you reach the food. Hunger takes you to the food straightforward. Now, it is not the beating. It is the shape, form and character of the beating. City hardly put a foot wrong all night. It was a perfect party.

 

The Citizens executed a plan; keep the ball away from Madrid as much as possible, bear on them like a swarm of bees when they scarcely have possession, cut supply to their danger men and pull the trigger when target is in sight. The tie was effectively over at first half. Pep could yet repeat from the first game, the unpopular decision not to make any substitution against a Real Madrid in a Champions League semi. Such audacity!

 

 

 

The bookmakers will definitely make a case for Guardiola. He should be in company with Mario Zagallo, Tele Santana, Arrigo Sacchi, Johan Cruyff, Alex Ferguson, Carlo Ancelotti, Hassan Shehata and José Mourinho. These are change makers. These are era-defining managers, men whose legacies are etched in memory. In the case of Pep, he birthed a scientific style that makes room for both industry and skill. It requires hard work and intelligence. It is a possession-based formula that promises zero tolerance for antidote, seemingly.

 

 

How are the mighty fallen? City have arrived in Promise Land. They do so evicting the landlords. History beckons at the Etihad. The elusive Champions League title is in touching distance. Inter Milan lay in ambush. Everyone knows who the favourites are. Nonetheless, winning the final is to be earned. Nothing is a given here. The blue half of Manchester needs adorning. This time, not with the Premier League title, which is almost home and dry. Europe’s most coveted trophy should come home.

By: Rossoneri Selecao

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