With Man City taking on Lyon in the Champions League quarter-final on Friday night, BT Sport pundit, Rio Ferdinand, paid his former cross-city rivals a compliment in the lead up to the game.
Pep Guardiola’s side have often beaten teams into submission with a mixture of incredibly efficient attacking and elite-level defending.
There’s a relentlessness to their game which arguably only Liverpool can match, though there have been occasions during 2019/20 when they’ve been a little too swashbuckling and have been undone by their opponents.
Ferdinand believes the maturity shown in one particular aspect is the reason why they’ve improved so much.
“Sometimes you’ve got to manage games properly. I think that’s been a big, big factor in them going out of the tournament the last couple of years, they haven’t managed games properly,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport, cited by the Daily Mirror.
“They’ve allowed them to become shoot-outs and open games, a bit gun slinging. You can’t do that at the top end of the game.
“You’ve got to use the experience you’ve got, sometimes take your foot off the pedal and take the sting out of a game and they’ve not done that.
“I could see against Real Madrid there was a composure to their game I haven’t seen at this stage and against this type of team for a while from a Man City team.”
Whether or not City go on to win the Champions League this year, it’s expected that Guardiola will always continue to demand that his players improve in subsequent seasons.
It may not be as exciting for City fans to watch, but if it means winning, rather than losing or drawing matches then surely the end justifies the means.