The Genius of the Day: Manuel Pellegrini & Manchester City FC
Today in the “Genius of the Day” topic we speak about a fact that happened two weeks ago during the game of the last matchday of Champions League Group Stage between FC Bayern München and Manchester City FC, that was played in Germany and was won by the English team 2-3, anyway both of the teams had already qualified before the match.
Defeating FC Bayern, probably the current best team in the world, in Munich is such a big achievement, but this match will probably be remembered for another event: when MCFC was up at 63′, they would have needed just one more goal to win 2-4 and to overtake the Germans, win the Group, and be seeded at the following CL Round of 16 draw, where they could have get a relatively easy opponent, Mr. Pellegrini chose to replace two of his best offensive players, David Silva and Edin Dzeko, and to leave his best top scorer, Sergio “El Kun” Aguero, on the bench, because the Chilean manager thought that Manchester City FC would have needed to win by 3 goals, and considered that scoring two more goals in half an hour would have been quite unlikely, and so decided to defend the result and to make Aguero rest.
In the post-match press conference Mr. Pellegrini said that he would have put the Argentinian striker into the match if he had known that they would have needed just one goal to win the Group, while James Milner, who scored the winning goal, said that the players didn’t know that a 2-4 win would have been enough to qualify as first. It’s true that UEFA tie-breakers are often complicated and change in every competition, but it’s unbelievable that neither an overpaid Manager, nor overpaid players nor, most of all, overpaid executives knew which result MCFC would have needed to win the Group, or that nobody told that to the Manager and/or to the players.
Manchester City FC was heavily punished for this little big mistake, beacause they got FC Barcellona in the Rounf of 16 draw.