Manchester City finally reached the semi-finals of the Champions League under Pep Guardiola, for the fifth time of asking. The club passed a tricky test in the form of Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-finals to reach their first semi-final since 2015.
The City survived an early scare as Jude Bellingham gave the German club the lead and put them ahead on aggregate. But Emre Can’s second-half handball allowed Riyad Mahrez to level from the penalty spot. Phil Foden put the tie beyond Dortmund’s reach, as latched onto a pass from Bernando Silva to score expertly.
With that win, Guardiola equalled Jose Mourinho’s record of eight semi-final appearances in the Champions League. His team now face a very tough tie against last season’s finalist Paris-Saint Germain. City play away first in the tie, then they host the Parisians a week later.
They are next in action in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and play Chelsea in Wembley on Saturday, as they eye the unprecedented quadruple.
New era for City under Guardiola
After being second best for the entirety of last season to Liverpool, City needed to bounce back this season. And they have done that expertly. Pep Guardiola also signed a new contract before the start of the season, as they eye a new era of dominance.
The club have almost wrapped up the Premier League. They need at least ten points from their remaining six games. A cup final against former nemesis Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham awaits.
And as said, they face Chelsea in the FA Cup semis and are just three games away from winning the Champions League. They might become the first English ever to win all four trophies in a single season.
Given Liverpool’s fall this season and Manchester United’s inconsistency, City might become the best team in the country for years to come under Guardiola.
Herrera very eager to play under Guardiola
One player who has not played for City yet and is desperate to do so is Yangel Herrera. The 23-year-old is on loan at Spanish outfit Granada. They face City’s bitter rivals Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
The Venezuela international signed for City in 2017 and has played for several clubs on-loan but is yet to feature under Pep Guardiola. Speaking to the Sun, Herrera expressed his desire to play under the Spanish coach by saying:
“Being with Pep was a masterclass. It helped me see that one day I should have my place there. And I didn’t feel weird in that dressing room. I was surrounded by great footballers and I work to achieve something like that. I don’t know if Pep’s the best in the world but he needs to be on the podium. Anybody can see what he’s brought to football.”
And according to various sources, Herrera might be integrated into City’s team ahead of next season. The club will look to find a replacement for Fernandinho. Herrera’s two-year loan deal at Granada expires at the end of the season and he will return back to the Etihad. And due to the coronavirus pandemic, they might be able to spend big on that position. This will give Herrera a chance to impress Guardiola and break into City’s team.