I could complain that it was Villarreal's inability to beat an egg that took us out of the competition, but ultimately it was our first game against Napoli which has turned out to be the game that bit City in the backside. City created enough chances to kill that game off, hitting the woodwork twice in the process. One swift counter attack lead by Maggio and a goal by Cavanni made the group that much more difficult.
A lot of fans of other teams may say City should be embarrassed about going out of the Champions League at this stage but let's face it, we had the toughest group in the competition for any of the 'favourites' to win it. City also got the 10 points that are usually enough to qualify with. No less than 6 other teams went through with 10 points or less this season.
The only team that should really be embarrassed about not qualifying for the knock out stage is Manchester United. They had one of, if not the easiest of groups to qualify from. Their fans were, as usual, arrogantly mocking City for going out of the Champions League early before a ball was kicked last night. The saying 'pride comes before a fall' springs to mind, as they really did crash out after losing 2-1 to Basel.
Disgusting, disgraceful, shocking, pathetic, and sack the manager were all things that were said after their defeat to Basel. In contrast to their complete lack of grace the general feeling among City fans is rather more aquiesce with "oh well, there's always next year." And that's right, the focus was never on the Champions League this season as I have said before, and indeed Sheikh Mansour also stated the same thing. Yes it's disappointing, but hardly the end of the world.
Whether Mancini makes a real effort at the Europa League is yet to be seen, however he has already said as much and if his previous character is anything to go by he will indeed want to win it regardless of how others perceive the value of the competition. At the end of the day it is a trophy and if it came down to it if you asked any fan of any club whether they would rather end the season with a piece of silverware or not, I'm sure they would say they would want something over nothing.
And there we see yet again a difference in class between the two Manchester Clubs (albeit in name only). Patrice Evra has already stated that it is an embarrassment to play in the Europa League, and Alex Ferguson has described it as their punishment for not qualifying. I'm sorry, but how arrogant can you be?
Mancini on the other hand said "I am very disappointed we are out of the Champions League. But I think we now need to concentrate on trying to win the Europa League because it will be good for this club if we can get to the final and win it."
No doubt in the next day or two we will see statements from Karl-Heinze Rummenigge and Aurelio De Laurentiis who have both been hugely outspoken against City this season. My only hope is that they both go out in the next round, not because I hate those teams, because I can't stand either the self obsessed, self promoting, lying toss pots that run both clubs. Hopefully City will meet them at some point in the not so distant future and stuff them both.
City now have a tough couple of fixtures in the league, starting away at Chelsea this weekend followed by Arsenal at the Etihad 6 days later. Both will be tough games in which City need concentrate for the full 90 minutes, especially as both London clubs are starting to click. Come on City!
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