With Manchester City set to face Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals this evening, the focus is very much on Pep Guardiola’s side.

After defeat in the final to Chelsea last year, there is a feeling this could be their year, particularly after their battle to get to this stage.

Their quarter-final double leg against Atlético Madrid was a dogged and ugly affair, to say the least, but it did show that the Blues are capable of battling as well as playing beautiful football.

There are those, though, who believe they do the former as much as the latter and L’Equipe have the daggers out today, dubbing them ‘Dirty City’. 

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They cover the ‘tense affair’ with Atlético and how that was a demonstration of Manchester City’s ability to use ‘unsavoury methods’ to secure wins.

According to them, that clash was less Blue Moon and more Dark Side of the Moon as it revealed their ‘darker side’ once again.

They say that while Pep Guardiola is an advocate of ‘fluid football’, the Catalan accepts his players can break the rhythm of a match, too, with Marca stating after the Atlético game that ‘the idea that English teams play with fairness and do not play fouls is an urban legend.’

This is something Manchester City players have openly admitted to, with Rodri admitting in an interview last year that he had learned the art of ‘tactical mistakes’.

While the numbers have them committing just four per game and the fourth lowest in the Premier League on average, they are a side who ‘commit acts of anti-gaming’ as far as L’Equipe are concerned.

They are also a team who ‘often benefit from favourable refereeing’ as far as the newspaper are concerned.

They point to various games of late in which Manchester City were fortunate to not have players sent off and how Fernandinho ‘miraculously’ avoided a red card against Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final.

In other words, when Manchester City face Real Madrid tonight, keep an eye out for the dark arts being in full operation once again.