Carlo Ancelotti vs Man City record all-time: Why Italian manager has struggled against Premier League giants
Carlo Ancelotti is undoubtedly one of the best managers not just in football today, but in the history of the global game.
But every coach, even the top ones, have the teams they just simply find it difficult to play against. Often, those wonky records are practically unexplainable, down to either dumb luck or some hidden mental block.
Ancelotti's bogey team is without question Manchester City, which could be cause for concern as the two sides meet in the Champions League semifinals for the second straight season. Under Ancelotti's guide, Madrid advanced past City into the Champions League final last year, but it came in dramatic fashion after a first leg defeat.
The Sporting News brings you a complete look at Ancelotti's career history against the English club.
MORE: Pep Guardiola vs Carlo Ancelotti head-to-head history, record and Champions League battles
Carlo Ancelotti career record vs Man City
It's been a tough day at the office nearly every time Ancelotti has matched up against Manchester City.
In 10 career games against Man City, during his time with Chelsea, Everton, and Real Madrid, Ancelotti has been defeated eight times, with just two wins.
Those eight losses make City one of the more successful teams against Ancelotti – sixth in the all-time wins list – but the five teams above them (Inter Milan 11 times in 34 games, Juventus 11 defeats in 29 games, AS Roma 10 times in 34 games, Udinese nine times in 31 games, Barcelona nine times in 19 games) all have played at least twice the number of games against the Italian's teams.
His 80 percent defeat record is by far his worst against any club with at least 10 games played, and his second-worst against any club with at least two games played. Oddly, he's never beaten Everton in six attempts.
Those eight defeats have come against three different managers, having beaten Pep Guardiola and Roberto Mancini once apiece in the City dugout.
|May 4, 2022||UEFA Champions League |
Semifinals — 2nd leg
|Real Madrid||Santiago Bernabeu||Pep Guardiola||W 3-1 (a.e.t.)|
|Apr. 26, 2022||UEFA Champions League |
Semifinals — 1st leg
|Real Madrid||Etihad Stadium||Pep Guardiola||L 4-3|
|May 23, 2021||2020/21 Premier League |
|Everton||Etihad Stadium||Pep Guardiola||L 5-0|
|Mar. 20, 2021||FA Cup |
|Everton||Goodison Park||Pep Guardiola||L 2-0|
|Feb. 17, 2021||2020/21 Premier League |
|Everton||Goodison Park||Pep Guardiola||L 3-1|
|Jan. 1, 2020||2019/20 Premier League |
|Everton||Etihad Stadium||Pep Guardiola||L 2-1|
|Mar. 20, 2011||2010/11 Premier League |
|Chelsea||Stamford Bridge||Roberto Mancini||W 2-0|
|Sep. 25, 2010||2010/11 Premier League |
|Chelsea||Etihad Stadium||Roberto Mancini||L 1-0|
|Feb. 27, 2010||2009/10 Premier League |
|Chelsea||Stamford Bridge||Roberto Mancini||L 4-2|
|Dec. 5, 2009||2009/10 Premier League |
|Chelsea||Etihad Stadium||Mark Hughes||L 2-1|
Why has Carlo Ancelotti struggled vs Man City?
There are a few explainable reasons for Ancelotti's poor record against Manchester City, but they don't quite add up to completely satisfy the host of defeats, and it's hard to put a finger on what would fill that gap in understanding.
The best explanation for at least part of the record is that nearly half his matches against Man City have come while in charge of Everton, who were a mid-table side during his tenure at Goodison Park. Yet that only takes care of four matches – and he's still slumped to four other defeats with Chelsea and Real Madrid.
🗣️ Ancelotti: "We aren't planning how to play Haaland, but rather to play a team that looks unstoppable. I think we can play an even, competitive game, and we can win."#UCL pic.twitter.com/oNbOhBpJku— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 9, 2023
Recent defeats to Man City – including the 4-3 loss with Real Madrid in 2022 – have come against a City side that is considered one of the most formidable across the globe. Madrid managed to turn around that 4-3 first leg scoreline in the second leg via a 2-1 regulation victory that saw them advance on aggregate after Karim Benzema's extra-time penalty.
Ancelotti's three defeats to City while in charge of Chelsea are maybe the most unexplainable, given two of those came in the 2009/10 campaign in which the Blues won the Premier League title, while City finished fifth, 21 points behind. Indeed, Chelsea only lost six Premier League games all season, with a third of those coming against City.