Everything seemed set for the fairytale City winning and Villarreal holding Napoli. Indeed City did finish up beating Bayern Munich 2-0 though sadly the score was mirrored in Spain as two second half goals put Napoli through. Speaking to a few fans I got the impression people knew it was a tough ask but IF we were to go out then at least do it with pride and that's exactly what happened thanks to a lovely strike by David "Merlin" Silva and a coolly finished Yaya Toure goal
It has been a learning experience for Roberto Mancini and the squad one which no doubt they will learn from . There is little doubt mistakes were made in earlier games but just like City's rise from the ashes no journey is ever smooth. For me the defensive tinkering did play a big part in the reasons we now are in the last 32 of the Europa League but surely it won't be too long before the Champions League music again blasts out of the Etihad PA system. That said I can't see any reason why we don't push to win the Europa League.
Ironically all week I'd read United fans goading about us facing "Thursday nights on channel 5" well it appears lady luck wasn't smiling on them either as despite them needing to simply draw they lost and crash out with a worse record than City. It would appear the players have caught the fan bug of simply believing turning up was enough or were they too busy looking at us as appears to be their life at the moment (yet we are the obsessed ones don't you know) They are a good side but no where near as strong as they once were there simply isn't the strength in the squad they once had.
City meanwhile can take pride in their first ever Champions League becoming the first English side to win in Villarreal and even reaching the 10 points which if you believe the pundits is good enough to qualify. Roberto Mancini learnt a lot during his first 6 months and used that too guide City to a record Premier League finish and a first major trophy in 35 years. No doubt he will have learned much from this Champions League campaign and be eager to guide City further next season.