Manchester City’s impossible dream of winning an unprecedented quadruple came to an end in the most heartbreaking fashion imaginable on Wednesday night, as VAR ruled out a last-gasp, injury-time goal from Raheem Sterling, a full minute after the electric winger had sent the Etihad into utopia.
The final whistle beeped seconds later, leaving the hosts crumpled and despondent on the deck, in contrast to victors Tottenham who celebrated jubilantly as they reached their first European Cup semi-final for 57 years.
The Champions League journey may be over for another season but Man City can still complete the domestic clean sweep of the League Cup, FA Cup, and Premier League. A feat no club has ever accomplished. If they needed motivation after the week's crushing disappointment, then they’ve got it.
The 2018/19 League Cup has already been added to the trophy cabinet, courtesy of a penalty shoot-out success over Chelsea. Pep Guardiola’s men have an FA Cup Final against Watford to look forward to in a month’s time - they are the hot favourites - and should they win their remaining five Premier League matches they’ll be crowned champions, and in the process become the first club to successfully defend the title in a decade.
City will no doubt be devastated at the events from Wednesday night but they must rapidly shake-off the anguish as they face the same opponents (Spurs) in the same stadium (Etihad) on Saturday afternoon.
Then it’s the small matter of the mammoth Manchester Derby on Wednesday, and should the Citizens record maximum points from those two fixtures, you’d back them to dispose of Burnley, Leicester, and Brighton.
English Trebles And Near Misses
Rivals Man Utd did, of course, win the Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup back in 1998/99. Shortly after this Liverpool bagged both domestic cups and the FA Cup in 2000/01, while 17 years earlier the Merseyside club had won the league, European Cup, and League Cup under manager Joe Fagan.
Spare a thought for Jose Mourinho’s 2006/07 Chelsea side that won both domestic cup competitions, only to miss out on the title by six points, and suffer an agonising penalty shoot-out defeat in the semi-finals of the Championship.
Last but not least let’s not forget Middlesbrough’s 1996/97 outfit that lost both domestic finals and were relegated. Ouch.