Just back from pitch side at the Etihad; cold, wet, dreading work at 6am but all completely worth it to see Manchester City pull out an experienced and confident performance in the Champions League.
In a game that had it all bar a Bayern goal, Manchester City hosted the German side at the Etihad for the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final.
There was torrential weather; there was Grealish beef after a horrible tackle; there were boo’s; there was goals; there was incredible defending; another record broken; there was an incredible atmosphere; and there was astounding irony when the Bayern fans pulled out their “Sheikh Mansour out” banner.
The latter of which was almost as amusing as the score line was satisfying.
Nevertheless, the football on display from both sides was outstanding, a huge game with great intensity.
The Manchester City players stepped it up a gear, as did the home support. From back to front, the performances were inspired. Ederson in particular was able to keep his critics quiet with arguably his best show in a blue shirt.
Rodri and Stones did an excellent job of controlling the midfield where possible; whilst Ake, Akanji and Dias put on a fantastic defensive display.
The effort and passion was there for all to see, which only spurred on the home fans. This did not prevent the performance from also being measured, professional and mature in a way we are yet to see the blues in the late stages of this competition.
In addition to an impressive defensive show, there were 3 goals to give City the upper hand in the 2nd leg – though that will be no easy task.
Rodri opened up the scoring with a lovely placed outside-of-the-box shot that curled into the top corner. The blues did not settle, knowing that they would need a bigger advantage for the trip to Germany, Bernardo and Haaland made their contributions.
The Nordic Meat Shield broke another record in style, as he became the highest Premier League goal scorer in all competitions with 45 goals, surpassing van Nistelrooy and Salah who both sit on 44 goals.
Before the blues travel to Germany for the return leg next week, City have Leicester at home. Can we continue with this form that we are seeing as we chase down league leaders, Arsenal?