Teams With A Better Champions League Record Than Man City!
After their 2-1 home defeat to CSKA Moscow last night, Manchester City need a miracle to escape from their group and qualify for the Last 16.
Since their Champions League debut in 2011/12, their record has been underwhelming – making the knockout stages just once.
Here’s a look at less fashionable (and decidedly less propserous) clubs who’ve done as well, if not better, than City in the same period.
APOEL Nicosia & Basel 2011/12
They may be propping up Group F with no chance of qualifying this season, but the Cypriot club have a better record since City made their CL bow.
While City failed to emerge from their group in 2011/12, APOEL improbably topped theirs, a pool which contained Porto, Shakhtar Dontesk and Zenit St. Petersburg. They then overcame Lyon in the first knockout round before bowing out 8-2 to Real Madrid on aggregate in the Quarter-Finals – a stage City have never reached.
The same year, European perennials Basel condemned Manchester United to the Europa League in Sir Alex Ferguson’s penultimate season at the club. The Swiss side finished runner-ups to Benfica in Group C, setting up a Last 16 clash with Bayern Munich.
However, it was a stage too far for Heiko Vogel’s men who slumped to an 8-0 aggregate loss to Bayern Munich in the knockout stage. Still, it was better than City managed, failing to emerge from a group containing Bayern Munich, Napoli and Villareal.
Celtic & Malaga 2012/13
It was the same old story for City in their second season in Europe’s elite tournament, failing to even qualify for the Europa League after finishing last behind Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid and Ajax.
Meanwhile, Neil Lennon’s Celtic stunned Europe with a home win over Barcelona to secure second place in Group G, before eventually succumbing to a 5-0 aggregate defeat to Juventus in the second round.
Unfashionable Malaga also outdid City, reaching the Quarter-Finals after topping a group comprising AC Milan, Zenit St. Petersburg and Anderlecht.
They overcame Porto in the second round before narrowly losing to eventual finalists Dortmund in the last eight.
They finally did it! City emerged from an uncompetitive group with Bayern Munich after both sides won all their games against whipping boys CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzeň.
Their first appearance in the Champions League knockout stage was considerably more difficult to surmount, bowing out to Barcelona 4-1 on aggregate.
Meanwhile, Olympiacos did just as well as Manuel Pellegrini’s side without the vast resources at their disposal. They were runners-up to PSG in their group before meeting David Moyes’ Manchester United in the last 16.
The Greeks famously condemned United to a 2-0 defeat in Athens, in a turgid display by their opponents that epitomised their performances under Moyes’ tenure.
United managed to turn things around at Old Trafford, with a 3-0 win that saved Moyes’ job – for a few weeks at least.