Pep Guardiola’s quest for a first Champions League title at Manchester City continues this week, as the Citizens host Real Madrid in their semi-final second leg.
The tie is evenly balanced after a 1-1 draw in the first meeting in the Spanish capital, ahead of a clash between the two favourites to be crowned European champions.
The last four is familiar territory for Guardiola, with this his 10th semi-final in the Champions League. We’ve looked back at Guardiola’s record at this stage of the competition.
2008/09 – Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona (Barcelona win on away goals)
Pep Guardiola’s first season in senior management ended in a historic treble for Barcelona, as the Catalans conquered all to win La Liga, the Copa del Rey and Champions League.
Guardiola’s side squeezed past Chelsea in the 2008/09 semi-finals, with Andres Iniesta’s goal deep into stoppage-time in the second leg securing progress on away goals. Chelsea – runners-up to Manchester United the previous season – felt a sense of injustice as the west Londoners saw a succession of penalty appeals turned down, before Iniesta’s iconic goal sent Barcelona through in dramatic fashion.
Before Andrés Iniesta delivered this dramatic sucker punch! 👊#UCL https://t.co/m1fpIZhyQU pic.twitter.com/yrGAiUIvuV
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 6, 2021
Barcelona went on to beat holders Manchester United 2-0 in the final in Rome, courtesy of goals from Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi.
2009/10 – Barcelona 2-3 Inter Milan
Guardiola’s pursuit of successive European titles ended at the semi-final stage to Inter Milan in 2009/10.
Barcelona had taken the lead in the first leg at the San Siro, but Inter fought back to beat the defending champions with a clinical performance of counter-attacking football. Wesley Sneijder brought the Italians level, before further goals from Diego Milito and Maicon put Jose Mourinho’s team in control of the tie.
⚫️🔵 José Mourinho’s Inter beat holders Barcelona at the San Siro #OTD in 2010…#UCL | @Inter_en pic.twitter.com/Cfyo1wWR3Z
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 20, 2020
Inter held on in the return leg despite losing Thiago Motta to a first-half red card, with a Mourinho masterclass in defensive shape and work-rate ensuring the visitors progressed despite a 1-0 defeat at the Camp Nou.
2010/11 – Barcelona 3-1 Real Madrid
Barcelona reached the semi-finals for a third consecutive campaign under Guardiola the following season and progressed to the decider after an enthralling tie with rivals Real Madrid.
Lionel Messi did the damage with a brilliant brace in the first leg at the Bernabeu, including an outstanding individual goal for his second which saw the forward slalom past a succession of white shirts before firing home.
🔥 Magnificent Messi #OnThisDay in 2011 🔥 #UCL | @FCBarcelona pic.twitter.com/QbD1A0cFeS
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 27, 2019
Messi’s goals earned Barcelona a vital win in a bad-tempered El Clásico, one that saw Real Madrid’s Pepe dismissed and manager Jose Mourinho sent to the stands. A 1-1 draw in the return ensured progress for Barcelona, who produced a special performance in the final to beat Manchester United 3-1 at Wembley and earn Guardiola his second Champions League crown.
2011/12 – Barcelona 2-3 Chelsea
Chelsea exacted revenge for their semi-final defeat to Barcelona three years earlier, in what proved to be Guardiola’s final season in charge of the Spanish side.
Barcelona were chasing a third Champions League title in four seasons and started the tie as strong favourites, but Didier Drogba’s goal gave Chelsea a narrow 1-0 lead to protect at the Camp Nou.
The second leg was a compelling clash that saw Chelsea fight back from two goals down – despite John Terry’s first-half red card – to reach the final. Barcelona looked to be heading through after goals from Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta either side of Terry’s red card, but Ramires’ audacious chip put Chelsea ahead in the tie on away goals before the break.
🔵 Frank Lampard assist for Ramires at Camp Nou ⚽️@ChelseaFC | #UCL pic.twitter.com/E7MbQdSG3M
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 13, 2020
Barcelona pushed to make their man advantage count but could not find a breakthrough, with Lionel Messi crashing a penalty off the crossbar. Fernando Torres then confirmed Chelsea’s passage to the final as the Spanish striker broke away late on to round Victor Valdes and fire home.
2013/14 – Bayern Munich 0-5 Real Madrid
Guardiola was appointed as manager of Bayern Munich ahead of the 2013/14 campaign, with the Spaniard inheriting the reigning European champions after a brief break from the game.
Bayern’s defence of the Champions League – won as part of a treble under Jupp Heynckes the previous season – ended in humiliating fashion in the last four. Bayern had lost a tight first leg 1-0 in Spain, before capitulating in the return as Real Madrid ran riot to reach the final.
The Spaniards reached their first Champions League final since 2002 after thrashing Bayern in their own backyard, as two headers from Sergio Ramos put Los Blancos in control and Cristiano Ronaldo added a third on the counter. Ronaldo scored a second with a late free-kick as Real recorded a resounding win to eliminate Guardiola’s well-beaten side.
2014/15 – Barcelona 5-3 Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich fell at the semi-final hurdle once again the following season, with Guardiola suffering defeat against his former employers.
Barcelona secured an emphatic 3-0 advantage during the first meeting at the Camp Nou, as three late goals earned a crucial win. Lionel Messi struck twice as the Catalans scored three times in the final 13 minutes to take the tie away from Bayern, with his second a glorious goal as he jinked past Jerome Boateng and lifted a finish over Manuel Neuer. Neymar then punished the visitors for chasing an away goal with a third on the break.
📆 06.05.2015: Masterful Messi 🪄#UCL pic.twitter.com/mbJU86t5ti
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 6, 2023
Bayern won 3-2 in the return leg in Bavaria, but were unable to overturn a damaging defeat in the first meeting between the sides. Barcelona went on to beat Juventus and complete a continental treble under Luis Enrique.
2015/16 – Atletico Madrid 2-2 Bayern Munich (Atletico win on away goals)
Atletico Madrid eged past Guardiola’s Bayern Munich side to reach a second Champions League final in three seasons in 2015/16.
The Spanish side earned a 1-0 win in the first leg courtesy of Saul Niguez’s sensational solo goal and progressed to the final on away goals in the return. Xabi Alonso’s free-kick had brought Bayern level in the tie, but Thomas Muller missed the chance to double their lead from the spot.
That error proved costly as Antoine Griezmann fired home a crucial away goal and Diego Simeone’s side held on to reach an all-Madrid final, despite Robert Lewandowski’s late header for Bayern and a missed penalty from Fernando Torres.
2020/21 – Manchester City 4-1 Paris Saint-Germain
Guardiola faced criticism of his European record during his early seasons at Manchester City, with the Premier League side failing to progress past the quarter-finals in four consecutive campaigns.
Each of those eliminations had come against teams City were expected to beat and the pressure was on ahead of the 2020/21 season. City beat Borussia Dortmund in the last eight to set up a semi-final with Paris Saint-Germain and produced a convincing performance over two legs to reach a first Champions League final.
Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez scored as City came from behind to win 2-1 in Paris, before Mahrez’s double sealed a first final appearance for the Citizens.
Hopes of a maiden European crown were extended however, as City lost 1-0 to Chelsea in an all-Premier League final.
2021/22 – Real Madrid 6-5 Manchester City
Manchester City missed out on successive finals after a classic Champions League contest with Real Madrid in 2021/22.
The first leg was a compelling watch as the two teams shared seven goals in a thriller at the Etihad, with Real Madrid responding whenever City threatened to take the tie away. A breathless game ended in a 4-3 win for Guardiola’s side, who looked destined to reach the decider after Riyad Mahrez opened the scoring in the return.
City led by two goals on aggregate heading into the final minute at the Bernabeu, before the most dramatic conclusion to a Champions League semi-final tie. Rodrygo came off the bench to score twice in stoppage-time, his goals timed at just 90 seconds apart as Real Madrid forced extra-time.
Karim Benzema then scored the winner in the added period as Real Madrid stunned a shell-shocked City side to reach the final.
Read – Remembering the Real Madrid XI that won ‘La Decima’ in 2014
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