Just got back from the pitch at the Etihad; it was chilly, rainy, and I was dreading going to work at 6 a.m., but it was all worth it to watch Manchester City put on a seasoned and assured performance in the Champions League.
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Manchester City welcomed the German team at the Etihad for the opening leg of the Champions League quarterfinal in a match that had it everything, but for a goal from Bayern.
A record was broken, there was fantastic defending, there was incredible weather, there was Grealish beef after a terrible tackle, there were boos, there were goals, there was an incredible atmosphere, and there was astounding irony when the Bayern fans hauled out their “Sheikh Mansour out” banner.
The latter of which was nearly as entertaining as the final result was encouraging.
Yet, both teams put on a fantastic game of football, one that was quite intense.
Both the Manchester City players and the home crowd picked up the pace. All of the performances, front to back, were outstanding. Particularly Ederson silenced his detractors with what was possibly his best performance in a blue shirt.
When it was possible, Rodri and Stones did a great job of controlling the midfield, and Ake, Akanji, and Dias gave a standout defensive performance.
Everyone could see the effort and enthusiasm, which only encouraged the home crowd. Despite this, the performance was measured, professional, and mature in a way that has yet to be seen from the blues in this competition’s latter rounds.
In addition to a strong defensive performance, City scored three goals to take a lead into the second leg, however it won’t be an easy assignment.
Rodri’s beautifully placed outside-the-box effort that curled into the top corner started the scoring. The blues did not give up; Bernardo and Haaland made their contributions knowing that they would need a greater edge for the trip to Germany.
He surpassed van Nistelrooy and Salah, who both had 44 goals, to become the Premier League’s all-time leading scorer with 45 goals, shattering yet another record.
City hosts Leicester at home before the blues depart for Germany for the second leg the following week. Can we maintain our current form as we pursue the league-leading Arsenal?