This Raheem Sterling Miss Will Haunt City Fans For Years To Come

This was supposed to be the year for Manchester City. Having seen Liverpool run away with the Premier League title, Pep Guardiola’s side focused on the Champions League. The Citizens saw off Real Madrid in the Round of 16 and seemingly had an easy path to the semifinals after Lyon stunning Juventus.

But with just the seventh-place Ligue 1 side in its path, Manchester City once again stumbled in the Champions League.

Moussa Dembélé scored two goals in the final 11 minutes to push Lyon to a shock 3-1 victory over Manchester City in the Champions League quarterfinals on Saturday in Lisbon. Dembélé’s second came moments after Raheem Sterling missed a sitter at the other end that would’ve tied the match in the dying minutes.

Lyon now will face Bayern Munich in the semifinals on Wednesday after the German champs eviscerated Barcelona 8-2.

On the plus side for City fans, they won’t have to watch their team’s defense against Bayern. 

Man City vs Lyon Highlights 2020 Champions League

Lyon took a bit of a surprise — but deserved — lead in the 24th minute. City’s defense was beaten by a simple ball over the top, and though Eric Garcia’s recovery tackle was brilliant, Kyle Walker failed to track Maxwel Cornet, who expertly placed his shot around an out-of-position Ederson.

Cornet had a stellar first half. Here he is tracking back to deny Raheem Sterling after a gorgeous cross-field pass from KDB. (We’ll ignore his fairly blatant dive in the second half.)

City slowly built its way into the match and in the second half began creating more and more opportunities. Finally Pep Guardiola’s side broke through via a stunning attack featuring Riyad Mahrez, Sterling and finished by Kevin de Bruyne.

So good was the goal, my Twitter timeline felt it necessary highlight all three players involved.

Raheem Sterling Miss

But as this City side has shown all season, it can be quite vulnerable at the back. 

A mere 10 minutes after the Citizens equalized, Lyon struck with another quick attack. Moussa Dembélé took advantage of a necessary dummy from an offside Karl Toko Ekambi to zip away from the City defense and fire past Ederson.

Then came the dreadful Raheem Sterling miss. 

Raheem Sterling Miss vs Lyon

It’s one of those chances that seems harder to miss than score. Obviously it’s much more difficult to score at this level, but you expect a player of Sterling’s quality to finish this every single time. Gabriel Jesus did everything to tee up his teammate, but Sterling’s effort sailed off the top of the crossbar. 

“That has defied every law of gravity and physics!” shouted the CBS announcer.

Before City could properly comprehend the potential equalizer gone awry, Lyon hit back with the final nail in Guardiola’s coffin. For a third time, the French side took advantage of lazy defense, this time Dembélé acting first to reach a rebound off Ederson.

With that, France now has two semifinalists in the Champions League, with PSG set to face RB Leipzig on Tuesday. And City once again has failed to win a Champions League title despite all of its monetary investments. 

If we’ve learned anything about these one-off matches, it’s that anything can happen. We can’t wait for the semifinals.

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