On a normal match day, Pep Guardiola’s seat is normally empty and that’s just when the City boss is normally on the touchline.
Yet last night Guardiola wasn’t even present and yet his seat remained empty. A mark of respect for the man responsible for City’s brilliance, it wouldn’t particularly surprise you.
His apprentice couldn’t galvanise City, yet you would need a miracle man to do so on Champions League nights and that’s not even the fans.
That’s now 5 defeats in 6 in Euro’s elite competition for the Blues. An alien arriving at the Etihad Stadium for this game would have thought it was a reserve game. The ground lacked any atmosphere of such., they might as well have closed the third tier to those in the gods. The 60,000 expansion plans may need to be put on hold for the time being.
The first half was probably the worse City have had at home for a good while. Individual players gifted Lyon an early two-goal lead. First Fabian Delph completely missed the ball from a Lyon cross then, Fernandinho gave a pass which is best not discussed.
Both times the ball ended up past Ederson in the City net.
After Aguero and Sane were introduced something changed. Sane turned his full back inside out when introduced and, Aguero provided a greater threat in just twenty minutes than Gabriel Jesus in seventy.
So was it just one of those nights? Probably yes.
Errors were made completely out of character by the likes of Stones, Walker and Laporte. However, in the Champions League, we see so many of these performances from the Blues.
Basel, Shakhtar, Celtic, CSKA and now add Lyon to the list of teams City have failed to win against on a Tuesday or Wednesday night. The records created are quite humorous as well. No English team has lost four straight games in Europe either, well until City twenty four hours ago.
Something seems to change when the Champions League comes to East Manchester. The buzz felt down the East Lancs Road disappears rather rapidly, somewhere along the way.
Why? The Champions League just isn’t embraced at The Etihad like it should be. Most likely until City win the thing. Judging from last nights performances, City fans better not get their hopes up of a European title any time soon.