How Manchester City can still make history despite end of Champions League dream

Manchester City’s quadruple dream was ended by Tottenham but they can still become the third English club to win a domestic treble.

Wednesday’s away-goals defeat means the Champions League is no longer an objective for Pep Guardiola’s side this season, but they have won the Carabao Cup and are in the FA Cup final and a two-horse race for the Premier League.

No team has ever won all three in one season, with City’s title rivals Liverpool and neighbours Manchester United the only English clubs to have won a treble of major trophies.

Here, Football Paradise looks at those achievements, as well as some of the more notable trophy doubles in English football.

Liverpool, 1983-84

Won: League, League Cup, European Cup

The Reds’ first season under Joe Fagan’s management brought unprecedented success, with striker Ian Rush instrumental as his 32 goals helped them hold off Southampton by three points to win Division One.

The Welshman scored 47 in all competitions, including a semi-final brace against Dinamo Bucharest as Liverpool won their fourth European Cup by beating Roma on penalties in the final.

They played 13 games to win the League Cup – coming through five two-legged ties plus a replay against Fulham, before a goalless 120 minutes against Everton at Wembley and a 1-0 replay win.

Manchester United, 1998-99

Manchester United celebrate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's late winner against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final
Manchester United celebrate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s late winner against Bayern Munich (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Won: League, FA Cup, Champions League

United achieved almost the same feat 15 years later, though with the FA Cup – secured by a 2-0 win over Newcastle in the final – rather than the League Cup.

A final-day 2-1 win over Tottenham had secured the Premier League title, one point ahead of Arsenal, but it is the Champions League triumph and “that night in Barcelona” which lives longest in the memory.

United fell behind to Mario Basler’s early goal and remained 1-0 down until stoppage time, when Teddy Sheringham equalised before current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer poached a dramatic winner.

Liverpool, 2000-01

Gerard Houllier and his assistant Phil Thompson with the UEFA Cup
Gerard Houllier and his assistant Phil Thompson with the UEFA Cup (Nick Potts/PA)

Won: FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup

Perhaps a less prestigious treble, with no league title and the UEFA Cup rather than the Champions League, but still a momentous season for the Reds under Gerard Houllier.

They beat Birmingham on penalties to win the League Cup, having been denied victory in normal time by Darren Purse’s last-minute spot-kick, and a late Michael Owen brace against Arsenal saw them add the FA Cup.

There was even more drama four days later in a wild UEFA Cup final, in which they led Alaves 3-1 and 4-3 before a late goal by former Manchester United man Jordi Cruyff forced extra time. Delfi Geli’s own goal settled it for Liverpool.

Double delight

Pep Guardiola and his coaching staff pose with the Carabao Cup last season
City won the Carabao Cup last season as well as their record-breaking league title (Nick Potts/PA)

* Having won the Premier League and Carabao Cup last season, City are still in contention to win multiple trophies in back-to-back seasons – a feat only previously achieved by three English clubs.

Liverpool did so in 1975-76 and 1976-77, and again for four years running between 1980-81 and 1983-84, while Nottingham Forest managed it in 1977-78 and 1978-79 and Manchester United in 2007-08 and 2008-09.

* The 1997-98 season saw two doubles – Arsenal won the league and FA Cup, and Chelsea the League Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup.

* Preston and Aston Villa’s 19th-century doubles came when the league and FA Cup were the only trophies available.

* City and Tottenham take the number of double-winning clubs to nine.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

Serving quality football news from around the globe. No click-bait.