With players such as Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling, converting chances should come a lot easier for this side than it now does. If Manchester City have realistic hopes of winning the Champions League that they should learn how to perform in two-legged cup sticks – and quickly. Manchester United were second best for 180 minutes of the Carabao Cup semi-final but were still alive until the final whistle.
Real Madrid, City’s opponents in Europe next month, will not be nearly as bad and will not be quite as generous if the Premier League winners reveal a lack of killer instinct. The Spanish giants know precisely how to get the job, going back 64 decades and 13 events of success.
City, as revealed in their past few exits to Monaco, Liverpool and Tottenham are still novices. Plus it was underlined again in their 1-0 defeat to United on Wednesday – even when they procured another chance of silverware.
How the all-Manchester semi-final was not settled following a first-leg controlled by City was baffling. How it became a nerve-jangling affair in the Etihad Stadium was nearly as ridiculous.
“I can not really understand how we lost this match,” Kevin de Bruyne told Sky Sports afterwards. “We were far too ineffective now, we need to learn from this.
“We have sloppy. The goal, we do not clear the lines really great and from nothing, they scored. We will need to learn from the errors.”
Particularly, when a Marcus Rashford consolation supposed that United travelled to another side of town searching for the same type of miracle that saw them knock out Paris-St Germain in similarly improbable circumstances almost exactly 12 months ago.
However, City are short of a few of the killer instinct that ruined Premier League resistance on a weekly basis in two record-breaking title seasons. The way that they escape goals has included a fear factor to the group that was not there previously.
It worked pretty well besides the fact that they lacked the mortal final touch to eventually kill off their rivals once and for all.
However, City’s square pegs were a much snugger fit since they dominated again.
Aguero played Shaw at every chance, losing the defender to get a header that was clawed away by David De Gea and dribbling away from him for another attempt that the Spaniard tipped over the bar.
At the opening 35 minutes, City had nine attempts on goal but only three on goal, with two-thirds of ownership. United’s pacy attacking trio of Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial were rubbernecking in the halfway point.
Fred’s poor free-kick was badly addressed by Bernardo Silva and Nemanja Matic smashed in United’s first effort on goal in off the far post. It felt like yet more bad luck about the much-maligned Claudio Bravo, with an unhappy knack of conceding in the very first shot on target each time he plays.
The Chilean had no chance with the well-taken lash but he does not appear to inspire confidence in his defence – specific a makeshift one. And those nerves sent them across the side.
Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker were failing to control easy moves, Rodri and Cancelo were not able to play easy ones. He spurned the opportunity to shoot, taking it about De Gea and then fired over the bar off-balance.
Substitute David Silva was more culpable when United gifted him the ball 10 yards out and he declined the opportunity to shoot with just De Gea to conquer. Matic’s red card finally took the wind out of United’s sails and they weren’t able to mount that frantic last few minutes their supervisor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was no doubt going.
“The director said before the match, this is an adventure we must survive and overcome. “It is a learning process. We’ll attempt to make it simpler.
But Real may well demonstrate that being the better team isn’t always enough.