Losing 5-1 in the FA Cup to Chelsea is never going to be seen as a positive result for Manchester City, but in the long-term it will be looked back on as a necessary evil.
Manuel Pellegrini was criticised for his decision to start a team of players who even the most devoted football fan would need to look up on Wikipedia and his young side was decimated by a full-strength Chelsea team.
Pellegrini argued that fixture congestion had forced his hand in terms of selection policy as he didn’t want to risk losing key players before a crucial Champions League match.
This decision will eventually be seen as a right one, especially when the Chilean manager lands the 11/10 odds of his team winning in Europe.
The FA Cup defeat was on Sunday, meaning that, if the Citizens boss opted to field his first eleven at Stamford Bridge, they would only have three days to prepare for tonight’s game with Dynamo Kiev.
Travelling to Kiev alone for the round of 16 tie would in itself take a physical toll, but doing so on the back of an away game to one of the Premier League’s big six at full strength would be too tough to bare.
Now, City can be fully prepared and will be in good shape to earn a result that will set them on their way to reach the Champions League quarter final for the first time.
Instead, Pellegrini can call on his stars for this fixture and they should easily get a result against what in truth is a very poor side.
Much has been made of how strong Kiev are at home, but this is a bit of a misleading stance.
The Ukrainian side may have only lost twice at home across all competitions, but whenever they face anyone half decent they struggle.
Chelsea and FC Porto came away with draws in the Champions League group stages, while Shakhtar Donetsk have scored five times in their two visits to Kiev this term, without conceding a goal.
Furthermore, Dynamo haven’t played a competitive fixture since December and have also lost two home friendlies, to Malaga and Slavia Prague, in the interim.