Manchester City

Every time Man City have played in a European semi-final

Jamie Spencer
Man City played Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals in 2016
Man City played Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals in 2016 / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Manchester City have established themselves as one of the biggest clubs in Europe in recent years, but it was actually more than 50 years ago when they reached the semi-finals of a European competition for the very first time.

Here's a look back at over half a century of Manchester City's European semi-finals...

1. Schalke - Cup Winners' Cup (1969/70)

City's first ever foray into European competition in 1968/69 ended in the first round and handed Fenerbahce one of their earliest wins in the European Cup. But the club earned a place in the now defunct UEFA Cup Winners' Cup the following season by winning the FA Cup in 1969.

Led by the legendary Joe Mercer, they saw off opposition from Spain, Belgium and Portugal to set up a last four tie with Schalke.

A 5-1 victory at Maine Road in the first leg was inspired by Neil Young, Francis Lee and Colin Bell, also rendering a 1-0 defeat in the return leg in Germany pretty meaningless. City then went on to lift the trophy after beating Polish side Gornik Zabrze 2-1 in the final.

2. Chelsea - Cup Winners' Cup (1970/71)

City returned to the Cup Winners' Cup for the 1970/71, again going all the way to the final four in what was Mercer's final season in charge before he handed control to assistant Malcolm Allison.

City against defeated Gornik Zabrze, this time knocking out the Poles in the quarter-finals, having already won over two legs against Hungarian giants Honved, as well as Northern Ireland's Linfield in earlier rounds.

The semi-final threw up an all-English tie against Chelsea, which was only possible by virtue of City qualifying for the Cup Winners' Cup as holders. Chelsea won 1-0 home and away to set up a final against Real Madrid, which they won to keep the trophy on English soil.

3. Real Madrid - Champions League (2015/16)

Vincent Kompany; Gareth Bale
Man City were edged out by Real Madrid in 2016 / Anadolu Agency/GettyImages

For 45 years, City tried and failed to reach the last four of a European competition again. There were a number of UEFA Cup first round exits in the 1970s, before reaching the quarter-finals in 1978/79.

The club also struggled to get to grips with European football again in the early years of the Sheikh Mansour era, with last 16 exits in both the Europa League and Champions League between 2010 and 2015.

The breakthrough into the semi-finals came in the Champions League in 2015/16 after Manuel Pellegrini's City beat PSG in the quarter-finals. That set up a semi-final against Real Madrid, but it ended in disappointing defeat as Los Blancos, who also lifted the trophy, won 1-0 on aggregate.

4. PSG - Champions League (2020/21)

Riyad Mahrez
Man City qualified for the Champions League final in 2021 / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

Under the guidance of Pep Guardiola, City surprisingly fell short in the Champions League year after year, suffering defeats to Liverpool, Tottenham and Lyon in the earlier knockout rounds. But that changed in 2020/21 when they beat Borussia Dortmund in an entertaining quarter-final.

City were to face PSG in the last four and, despite conceding the first goal of the tie, were ultimately in control from the moment Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez put them ahead in the first leg.

Another two goals from Mahrez sealed a 4-1 aggregate win overall, meaning City reached a European final for the first time since 1970. It ended in heartbreak, however, with Chelsea emerging victorious in Porto.

5. Real Madrid - Champions League (2021/22)

Man City have qualified for the Champions League semi-finals again
Man City have qualified for the Champions League semi-finals again / Anadolu Agency/GettyImages

Still keen to win their elusive first Champions League title, City have immediately returned to the semi-finals in 2021/22 to set up another meeting with Real Madrid, having knocked out Atletico Madrid so far.

A place in the final in Paris is at stake.

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!