Manchester City hammered RB Leipzig 7-0 on Tuesday night in a one-sided Champions League last-16 second-leg clash in which superstar striker Erling Haaland scored five times in total to seal an 8-1 aggregate victory and easily book a place in Friday’s quarter-final draw.
Such a devastating display both collectively as a team and individually from Haaland will greatly raise belief that City can finally end their long wait for glory in Europe’s elite club competition – the one major trophy that has continued to elude them despite their unprecedented period of domestic success during a seven-year stint under Guardiola that has included four Premier League titles, the FA Cup and four League Cups.
It would be a hugely satisfying achievement for the Spaniard, who has often been criticised for failing to add to the two Champions League titles he won as a manager with Barcelona during his stints in charge at both Bayern Munich and City.
However, in a press conference held after the demolition of Leipzig, a light-hearted Guardiola joked that even lifting the trophy for a third time could not cure him of the disappointment that still lingers after hero and famed Oscar-winning actress Roberts apparently opted to watch United instead of City on a previous visit to Manchester.
“I am a failure in the Champions League,” Guardiola said. “If I win the Champions League three times in a row I will be a failure.
“I have three idols in my life. Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Julia Roberts. These are my three idols.
“Julia Roberts years ago came to Manchester – not in the 90s when Sir Alex (Ferguson) was winning titles and titles and titles. She came in the period where we were better than United, in these four or five years, right?
“And she went to visit Man United. She didn’t come to see us. That’s why even if I win the Champions League it will not compare for the fact that Julia Roberts came to Manchester and didn’t come to see us.
“Even if I win the Champions League it will not compare to this disappointment I had.”