This season’s Manchester City side could be remembered as “one of the best teams ever” if they deliver Champions League success in style against Chelsea on Saturday.
City great Francis Lee told Stats Perform he believes Pep Guardiola’s men could “hit the jackpot” in Porto.
The club Lee represented between 1967 and 1974 – winning four major honours, including the 1970 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup – have never taken home Europe’s top prize.
Indeed, this is City’s first Champions League final, becoming the ninth English team to reach this stage.
The gap of 51 years to that Cup Winners’ Cup triumph is the biggest ever between European deciders, longer than Sporting CP’s barren 41 years between the 1964 Cup Winners’ Cup and 2005 UEFA Cup finals.
But victory against domestic rivals Chelsea would complete a City treble following success in the Premier League and EFL Cup.
Lee was asked by Stats Perform how that might compare to rivals Manchester United’s three trophies in 1999.
“Well, you can’t say that one team is better than any other team,” he said. “You can only say in the way they win the game, the style they play the game, and the contribution to all the players in the team.
“And if it’s a scrappy 1-0, 2-1 win…
“It just depends. It depends on the day, with the fluidity of the City team. If they hit the jackpot, you could be talking about one of the best teams ever.”
Guardiola has lost more games against Chelsea (seven) than any other opponent in his coaching career, including the past two in a row.
Yet the Blues have not won three straight matches against City since a run of eight victories between 2005 and 2009, and Lee is not concerned by their recent meetings.
“It’s going to be difficult but I think it’ll be a different result,” he said.
“I think that we played Chelsea before [these two games] and have always done pretty well against them.
“It’s been the last two games, and there was nothing in it anyway; it was here and there.
“And if you have a City squad, a full squad, bubbling and ready to go, they’re going to be very, very difficult to beat.”
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