• Wednesday, Jul 06, 2022
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Sterling miss punished by Dembele goal underlines cruelty of football

  • Published at 05:09 pm August 16th, 2020
sterling

Sterling was City's leading goalscorer this season with 31 goals and the chance that fell his way late in the game to make the score 2-2 was so simple that he could be expected to bury it with his eyes closed

The unforgiving nature of football was exemplified by a jaw-dropping miss from Raheem Sterling against Olympique Lyonnais as Manchester City's saw their Champions League dreams disintegrate inside 59 crazy seconds in Saturday's quarter-final.

Sterling was City's leading goalscorer this season with 31 goals and the chance that fell his way late in the game to make the score 2-2 was so simple that he could be expected to bury it with his eyes closed.

But the England forward somehow sent the shot flying over the bar with the goal gaping in front of him, sending a seemingly perfect chance to equalise begging.

The madness continued down the other end as City's defence was sliced open by Lyon and a pedestrian shot from Houssem Aouar was somehow spilled by their ever-reliable goalkeeper Ederson to the feet of Moussa Dembele, who made no mistake to make it 3-1.

From a nailed-on equaliser practically handed to them and a chance to take the game to extra-time, City had suddenly conceded again and were out of the competition they covet most and which their Abu Dhabi owners have spent billions of pounds to win since buying the club in 2008 but failed to do so.

"That moment sums up this competition," said a distraught Pep Guardiola, a two-times winner of the Champions League with Barcelona who was hired by City precisely due to his track record in the competition.

"In this situation you have to equalise to take it to extra time, but then we concede the third and it's over."

The moment will rank alongside Sterling's late strike against Tottenham Hotspur in last year's competition which was agonisingly ruled out by a VAR review as yet another cruel moment for City in a competition they seem to be finding new ways to not win.

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