Pep Guardiola left with one more shot at Champions League with City | Paul Wilson

Last-16 tie against Real Madrid will come under even more intense scrutiny with manager unlikely to be in charge in 2023

Pep Guardiola was speculating only a few days ago that he might be sacked if he does not win the Champions League with Manchester City soon. He was probably being unduly melodramatic but, if the Uefa verdict delivered on Friday stands up to the inevitable appeal, he now has only the one chance.

Ban or no ban, Guardiola is unlikely to be in charge of City in 2023. His present contract runs out at the end of next season and at that point he will already have stayed longer at the club than at any of his previous managerial engagements. Should City have to endure two seasons in the European wilderness there will not be much point having Guardiola around anyway. He was brought in specifically for his Champions League expertise and, having won a domestic treble last season and set a points record in winning the Premier League the season before, there is little more he can do to impress on the home front.

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