Speaking ahead of the match, Arsene Wenger has accused the Citizens of sabotaging Manuel Pellegrini, who is fast coming to the end of his time at the Etihad Stadium.
The Chilean coach has known that his stint at the club will end in the summer since transfer deadline day, when it was confirmed that Pep Guardiola would be replacing him in the north-west.
As has been the case with other parallel cases—notably Sir Bobby Robson at Newcastle United—the Citizens players have failed to rise to the challenge of giving the South American manager a strong send off, and appear to have been treading water for months.
Wenger has spotted this apparent listlessness, and speaking to the media ahead of Sunday’s match—as per the Mirror—the French coach has accused the Sky Blues of hijacking Pellegrini’s reign.
“Once they took Txiki Begiristain you could see what was coming. He has always known that in the back of his mind I think,” Wenger began.
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“It is difficult because you have less power when the players know you are moving out.”
Indeed, City were lacklustre and appeared surprisingly unmotivated during their Champions League semi-final defeat by Real Madrid, and Wenger will surely be hoping that the Citizens are similarly flat against their UCL rivals in Sunday’s heavyweight bout.