Category: Football

Manchester City revel in sacking of temple of the white-shirted aristos

Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne scores their second goal from the penalty spot.

And City had seemed unusually focused coming into this game. All teams define themselves against something. City have an opportunity now to define themselves against everyone, against the person , against existential adversity. The damned City. The unforgiven. The outlaw blues. it’s a strong brew.

For the opening quarter of this game City pressed high, strangling Real, who got nowhere and did nothing. Kevin De Bruyne gave a glimpse of his passing range. Casemiro was crowded out by Rodri and Ilkay Gündogan.

This was City as an object of resistance instead of a source of sunshine . And with 20 minutes gone it had been the away fans who might be heard from their distant upper tier, drawing whistles round the ground.

The first clear chance of the sport arrived as Jesus made an exquisite run through the inside-left channel. City were becoming more fluent, although there have been still elements of oddity in their tightly stitched 4-4-2.
For a short time De Bruyne played as a centre forward, the No 9 reimagined as roving Belgian passing genius. Zinedine Zidane, it’s said, does the bare minimum of prep on his opponents. He won’t have had this one abreast of the whiteboard.

Then more adversity: Aymeric Laporte came limping off, replaced by Fernandinho, but City didn’t break stride. Real were strangled within the centre and blunt on the left where Vinícius Júnior demonstrated all the razor-like incision of a startled elk. At which point, faithful their own sense of destiny, Real took the lead, Isco shooting low into internet .

Then came a flash that changed everything. De Bruyne jinked and turned and flighted a stunning cross to the rear post. Jesus had been the simplest attacker on the pitch all night. He headed the ball back during a gentle arc past Thibaut Courtois. agen maxbet online

City’s fans erupted, then reached a replacement pitch as Dani Carvajal hacked down Sterling on the brink of goal, reward for a spell of sustained and imperious second half pressure. De Bruyne, who completely outshone that regal white-shirted midfield, slotted the kick in to form it 2-1.

City played with a controlled quite fury. Defiance, adversity, the bonding effects of inequity, real or imagined: these are powerful forces in sport.
This wasn’t justice, or some extent proved within the wider battle over regulation and rule breaking but it had been an enjoyable reminder, for all the encompassing noise, of what an excellent City team they’re . Risky, high-wire, edgy, soft within the middle sometimes , but sublime once they pass and move and find those overlapping rhythms.

City had 16 shots within the Bernabéu and passed the ball sometimes with a chastening, almost playful sense of control. One thing is certain: they won’t be going quietly.

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Guardiola dips into his bible to find tactical blueprint for win in Madrid

Pep Guardiola directs his Manchester City players at the Bernabéu.
Revel in the irony: in fact it might be even as the good rupture comes that Manchester City eventually produce an excellent European performance.

Enlightenment is achieved through the abandonment of desire. And yet even within that irony there are deeper ironies, the suspicion that an excellent European performance might not even have been necessary, the suggestion that Pep Guardiola’s true opponent was less the 11 men in several coloured shirts than himself, and therefore the realisation that good as City were, this Real Madrid are deeply ordinary, little quite the memory of a team despite their branding.

But who knows what strange process of attrition can undo a team? Who knows what demons could also be raised by finding yourself thwarted at every turn by an opponent playing during a way that was entirely unexpected in order that you, the foremost successful team within the competition’s history, find yourself chugging around fruitlessly reception ahead of a crowd that, even at 1-0 up, was audibly restless? simply because Madrid collapsed within the final 17 minutes after Raheem Sterling came on doesn’t mean they necessarily would are vulnerable to him from the off, before Dani Carvajal had been run into the bottom by Gabriel Jesus, who produced a supremely disciplined performance on the left before shifting into the center to equalise then end Sergio Ramos’s tie.

When a practical approach has been adopted, it’s reasonable to guage it on its merits. Did Guardiola’s plan work? Manifestly it did: City beat Madrid for the primary time, had much the higher of the sport , scored two away goals and will now undergo to the quarter-finals. And yet Madrid were so poor, so pedestrian, it had been hard to not ponder whether Guardiola’s uncharacteristic embrace of caution – City had only 30% possession within the opening 20 minutes against a side that weren’t exactly looking to impose themselves – weren’t how of combatting his own history the maximum amount because the opponent ahead of him.

Which isn’t a criticism – or a minimum of not of Guardiola or City. Games are won and lost on many fronts and one among them is within a team or a manager’s own psyche. Guardiola bears the scars of European ties lost to soft goals conceded, often in clutches: to Real Madrid in 2014, to Barcelona in 2015, to Monaco in 2017, to Liverpool in 2018, to Tottenham last season. even as Alex Ferguson accepted after the defeat by Madrid within the quarter-final in 2000 that it’s not enough to be better than the opponent, you furthermore may need to take risk out of the equation as far as possible, so Guardiola did everything to make sure there would be no sudden two- or three-goal blast against his side. judi bola terbaik

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