City’s 3-1 win over Barcelona on Tuesday was special for everyone connected to the club.
Pep Guardiola produced a tactical masterclass that saw the Blues outplay one of the most beautifully constructed sides in the history of the game.
But what did the fans make of it? We spoke to three of them to find out.
Simon Curtis @ (Down The Kippax Steps)
Waiting six games to finally see our beloved City wipe the floor with the European aristocrats of Barcelona is relatively small fry, compared to the thirty-five long years some of us put up with between Dennis Tueart's Wembley acrobatics and Carlos Tevez lifting the FA Cup one sunny London Saturday v Stoke. Patience is a character trait riven deep into City fans' psyche and one that many outsiders do not understand, thinking that all of this we see before us now is everything we have ever known.
We have known many things, however, and even on a European front, the fun and games of losing to Groclin Dyskobolia in a snow-driven Polish park, seeing Mario Balotelli afflicted by a grass allergy in an equally inhospitable Kiev and watching in disbelief as our European exile - also lasting a patience-stretching 20-odd years - deposited us at last after such an interminable wait, in ...Wales, stood us in good stead for this proper coming of age on the grand stage of European competition.
Well, by an odd turn of fate, this year's final is also in Wales, the very city where City rampaged through the Total Network Solutions defence in a rampant and unforgettable 2-0 win with Christian Negouai and Willo Flood at the centre of things. These days we are giving Barcelona a head start, stopping them dead in their tracks and then proceeding to rip them to shreds in what was possibly the most impressive 45 minutes of football I have ever seen from City.
I have waited a long time to see it happen, as have many others, and now that City have shown themselves capable of such gargantuan accomplishments, I fear the sky may well be the limit. If it is a false dawn, however, we can wait. We can certainly wait.
Liam Wright @
The 4-0 loss two weeks ago was tough to take. We had been right in the game and in what seemed like a blink of an eye, we had been torn apart.
After 21 minutes when Barcelona took the lead, I - and I’m sure many others - feared that we wouldn’t even land a punch on one of European football’s elite sides and the talk after the match would be rationalising the score line in whatever way we could.
The belief within the stadium was reignited as Aguero pounced on a mistake by the Barcelona defence and City, like a top team should, punished them.
“We need to get another here before half time.” I said, not thinking we could maintain this level of intensity. But I was wrong.
The second half was hugely entertaining and for the first time in a while The Etihad reverberated as the fans really got behind the team and believed in what we are capable of. It feels like this team has the ability to go all the way to Cardiff in May.
As a football supporter you rarely get to watch such a spectacle.
Dan Burke @ (typicalcity.org)
The win over Barcelona felt like a hugely significant turning point in the long and illustrious history of this club and we will always remember the 1st of November 2016.
For the first time since our debut season in the Champions League in 2011, we can finally say we’ve beaten one of Europe’s elite clubs in a match which really, truly mattered to both sides - and we didn’t just beat Barcelona, we absolutely played them off the park. Lionel Messi and co were unconquerable foes no more.
City’s performance in Camp Nou two weeks ago was previously the best they’d ever put in against Blaugrana yet they still lost 4-0. It felt like getting the first goal in the return fixture at the Etihad was going to be crucial to any chance City had of winning and when Messi swept home I can’t have been alone in thinking it was going to be another one of those nights.
But Pep and his players had other ideas and for the first time since 2001, Barcelona took the lead in a group game and lost
Pablo Zabaleta’s ecstatic reaction at the final whistle said it all. We’ve endured some tough times in the Champions League over the years but Rome wasn’t built in a day and now, at last, we have solid foundations upon which something great can be constructed. I’ve had some extremely proud moments as a City fan but this one might just have topped the lot.