The Northern Quota

News Live from Manchester

All eyes on Manchester in knockout stages of European cups

  • Pep's Blues face Broussia Dortmund in Champions League
  • Ole's Reds draw Granada in Europa League
  • Can Manchester teams wear both crowns?

This is where one mistake could wreck everything.

United have steered a careful if sometimes fortunate path to the Europa League quarter-finals. City smothered Borussia Monchengladbach to reach the Champions League quarter-finals - the one trophy Pep hasn't won in his time in charge. This is the one he REALLY wants.

If United beat Granada they could face Ajax or Roma in the last four. They're the favourites to repeat their Europa League success from 2017, when Jose Mourinho's team beat Ajax 2-0 in the final. Granada are a side relishing a dream run in their first-ever season of European football.

The Spanish team sneaked past Solskjaer’s former side Molde 3-2 on aggregate in the last 16, with 35-year-old former Spurs striker Roberto Soldado on target in both legs. Even a draw in Spain would work for Ole as that would leave the second leg on home turf, knowing what they have to do to progress. 

City's next opponents in the Champions League are Borussia Dortmund, a fast, attacking side with a great European pedigree. That game will not be easy, and if City triumph, a semi-final tie against either Bayern Munich or PSG awaits.

The Blues deserved their place in the last eight with a 4-0 aggregate win over Borussia Monchengladbach in the last 16. Goals inside the opening 20 minutes from Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan in Tuesday’s last-16 second leg scuppered any chances of a comeback from the Germans.

Pep wisely won’t talk about it publicly, but the quadruple is still on for the Blues. The Premier League title is almost wrapped up, a Carabao Cup final awaits next month against Spurs - who crashed out of the Europa League at the hands of Dinamo Zagreb - and two late goals against a tough and resilient Everton secured them an FA Cup semi-final spot. Even United legend Rio Ferdinand thinks they'll beat Spurs and lift the FA Cup, possibly in a Manchester derby final. What a mouthwatering end to the season that would be!

So a domestic treble is possible, but it's that European crown that would elevate this wonderful team to the heights of glory they deserve.

City without doubt have underachieved in Europe under Guardiola, failing to progress past the last eight. Their performances this year have the bookies putting them as slight favourites ahead of Bayern Munich to win the competition. That is quite a tribute to the progress they've made in the past year, and hopefully the strange teams Pep has fielded in the later stages in previous attempts will be a thing of the past.

City's quarter-final first leg will be at the Etihad on April 6, kick off at 8pm. The second leg will be away on April 14. The Blues may need to go to Germany and win.

Dortmund are dangerous and deadly. Let's not think about what lies ahead. As Pep says: 'Next game. Next game."

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