Mancini's Champions League disappointment all too familiar

Roberto Mancini

Former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini looks set for another Champions League run ending in disappointment under his guidance.

Well, guidance for the most part. That is, after the former Manchester City boss took over for Fatih Terim at the helm following Galatasaray’s 6-1 home drubbing at the hands of Real Madrid to open the group stage campaign.

With the new manager having overseen a draw, win, and now two straight losses, the latest of which came to the 10-man Spanish capital outfit at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Turkish giants now face a tough task to nose their way into the round of 16.

Juventus will visit the Turk Telekom Arena on December 10 needing just a draw to progress whilst the hosts will be required to take all three points if they are to head deeper into the tournament.

And for a man who is largely remembered from his time in England for a dismal European record that included five losses and just three wins, it appears another unceremonious end to a club’s continental adventure under his command is on the horizon.

Mancini rued his side’s trouncing by Carlo Ancelotti’s Merengues on Wednesday, citing a second half collapse that is reminiscent of his previous teams’ failings in the Champions League as the culprit for the defeat.

“We could have gained an advantage if we had taken three points here,” he mutedly told the press.

“We played some excellent football in the first half, but I did not understand what happened in the second half.

“If you make such mistakes then a team like Real Madrid will make you pay. I just cannot understand the simple mistakes we made…

“We will definitely need the support of our fans against Juventus. They have to back us until the final whistle and we are certain that it will be like that.

“We will try to get the three points with the famous pressure that Galatasaray fans create.”

The Italian’s confidence in Europe seems to be broken at this point in his managerial career, and quite understandably so considering the prosperity he’s overseen domestically whilst floundering when his squads cross international borders.

Though Galatasaray are not exactly a juggernaut the size of Real Madrid, it is most disappointing for Mancini that he wasn’t able to force a good run out of his side as Juventus sputtered through Group B action, winless until matchday five.

The defeat to minnows FC Copenhagen in Denmark was truly the crowning moment that adequately summarised a Mancini team in Europe, putting on display a lack of killer instinct and mental toughness required from a club to grind out the necessary results to make the leap to the knockout rounds.

Still, all opportunity has not been squandered as Galatasaray can still make their way through by dispatching the Italian champions in view of one of the most vociferous home crowds in club football, but the ex-City tactician’s lack of historic successes in such situations doesn’t inspire a great deal of belief from a neutral perspective, or that of his players.

And so for now, a Mancini side lives to fight another day in the Champions League despite a rather crushing loss midweek, but soon enough the reaper may indeed come knocking to finish off Galatasaray’s hopes in a scenario all too familiar to the man on the bench.

image: © Andrew Brannan

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch