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Manchester City in Urgent Need of Form after Shocking Champions League Performance


Manchester City endured yet another disappointing night in the Champions League after a 2-1 loss against CSKA Moscow. This match perfectly summed up the European adventures for a club that has dominated the Premier League for the last few years. Nothing appeared to go right for the Premier League champions, as they find themselves bottom of group with two matches left. Champions League group stage odds from Betfair sees Manchester City at 9/2 to qualify to the last 16. View champions league betting odds here:

The club owners have every right to question the club’s European performance. Admittedly, spending more than £1 billion is not a guarantee to do well in any competition, but this poor record is unacceptable either. City have not enjoyed the luck of the draw. It has become a Catch-22 situation for the club, as their struggles are often attributed to a tough draw.

A few seasons ago, the club’s lack of European experience was cited as an excuse. Against CSKA Moscow, City started with names like Yaya Touré, Sergio Aguero, Gael Clichy, and Vincent Kompany. These are players with rich Champions League experience. Manuel Pellegrini admitted after the defeat that he struggled to explain the reason for such poor performances especially in the European competitions.

More importantly, Pellegrini will be keen on avoiding this poor form in the league. City are already six points behind leaders Chelsea. Even though it is still early days in the season, they cannot afford to fall more points behind Jose Mourinho’s men. A single victory in the last five matches is certainly not helping Pellegrini’s situation, although no rumours about a potential sack has surfaced in recent weeks. City owners have proven to be relatively patient.

A match against a resurgent QPR awaits City on Saturday. The last time City played away from home after a Champions League disappointment, they ended up losing 2-1 to West Ham. This QPR team may have had only two wins this season, but they have done extremely well in their last two matches against Liverpool and Chelsea. It certainly will not be a walk in the park at Loftus Road.

It would not be surprising to see City switch their focus to the Premier League and FA Cup. They have to win their remaining two Champions League matches, and hope other results go their way, in order to be in the last 16 draw. It is looking highly unlikely now. In comparison, Betfair places them at 10/3 to retain the Premier League title. They may have an opportunity to close the gap on Chelsea, which currently stands at six, since Mourinho’s team have a difficult top of the table clash against Liverpool.

Questions have been raised about the motivation of this team. They have failed to retain the Premier League title in the past under Roberto Mancini. There is a danger of history repeating itself this season. Pablo Zabaleta recently they made those accusations by saying that this City team has been playing together for quite a while and he has seen no signs of complacency especially after winning a title.

City rediscovering their form this weekend is not beyond the possibility. They have come through a difficult run of fixtures with enough credibility. With matches against the likes of Sunderland and Swansea, teams who are struggling for results, set to come in the next few weeks, the negativity surrounding City could vanish.

City’s Middle Eastern owners took just four years to transform the club into Premier League winners, but they clearly are nowhere close to unlocking the Champions League riddle.

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