IHEANACHO ONCE AGAIN FIRES MANCHESTER CITY TO VICTORY IN RE-SCHEDULED GAME
Champions League nights at the Etihad Stadium have tended to be an uncomfortable experience. The negativity that has been aimed at UEFA from the stands as soon as the first bars of that anthem have been played, made it feel that this was a tournament City fans simply didn’t get.
But now they have got Pep Guardiola, a winner as a player and a two-time winning coach. Here is a manager who has never failed to reach the semi-finals.
And now City have a got a team that, regardless of what Guardiola says, will be a threat to all in this competition. They are playing football that is a joy to watch. Why, then, persist with the negativity? Why did only 30,270 turn up? Guardiola, plainly, was startled by it all.
‘Forget what happened in the past,’ he said. ‘All we can do is play better every time and people say, ‘I spend 90 minutes there and I have fun’. The stadium is not completely full so the only thing we can do is play good so the people at home say ‘Wow! Next time I will be there!’
‘We have to be so proud to play in this competition. Coming here in the next three or four weeks is the best football player ever (Lionel Messi) with Luis Suarez and Neymar and Barcelona. We have to enjoy it. The people are listening so I am sure they are going to do that.’
Games against teams like Borussia Monchengladbach have caused City problems in the past but there was never any sense of this following that old, laboured pattern. A monsoon postponed this game for a day but, when it began, Monchengladbach found themselves drowning in wave after wave of City attacks.
They should have been washed away in a flood of goals but Sergio Aguero’s hat-trick, plus a late strike from fast growing starlet Kelechi Iheanacho, did not illustrate City’s dominance.
The delay to kick-off had left the German visitors enraged but the extra 24 hours worked in one man’s favour. Ilkay Gundogan, who had been scheduled to be a substitute, benefited from an injury to David Silva in training — described as ‘a minor knock’.
Gundogan, a summer signing from Dortmund, was immaculate, barely wasting a pass. He wears No 8, the great Colin Bell’s old shirt. Early days, of course, but this was a display of which ‘The King’ would have approved.
Having waited a day to get down to action, City looked intent on finishing this in 45 minutes. Such was the pace at which they moved the ball, Monchengladbach’s defenders were spun around like tops and the only surprise was that it took City eight minutes to break through.
Culled from: www.dailymail.co.uk