MANCHESTER. — Manchester City’s fourth consecutive Champions League soccer defeat is a stark reminder of the size of the challenge facing the English Premier League champions as they seek to replicate their domestic dominance on the European stage.
Pep Guardiola’s richly talented team are among the favourites to be crowned kings of Europe after racking up 100 points in the Premier League last season.
Yet their limp 2-1 loss to Lyon on Wednesday night, played out in front of swathes of empty seats in Manchester, prompts the nagging question of when the fans and the players will come to terms with the demands of the Champions League.
Guardiola’s absence from the touchline and dressing room at half-time due to suspension was highlighted as one of the factors for City’s loss.
But whatever excuses are made, the stark reality is that they are the first English club to lose four straight games in the competition – three of them at home.