The UEFA Champions League and Manchester City started their 23/24 journey yesterday evening. Despite a more difficult night than anticipated for the current Champions, City have started off with a 3-1 win and, importantly, three points.
Being drawn into Group G alongside RB Leipzig, Young Boys, and Red Star Belgrade, it’s believed that City won’t be too worried about their outcome from this group.
Before going into yesterday’s game, I’m sure many would have thought it would just be a walk in the park for treble winners, but as the first half ended, it was showing that was not exactly the case as Red Star were leading 1-0.
But the second half was all Man City, as Julian Alvarez and Rodri both stepped up to change the scoreline, making it 3-1 in City’s favor.
World Cup winner Julian Alvarez was the one to put City up 2-1, with the second coming from a well-taken freekick which found its way straight into the goal.
And then Rodri, we all know he likes to get his name on the scoresheet on these big nights, sealed the deal for Manchester City.
Man City finish matchday one on second spot, with Leipzig on first, as both teams bagged three points and also, 3-1 wins.
What should be taken from this game?
Manchester City had an impeccable stats throughout this game; 73% possession, a total of 38 shots, and 16 of those were on target.
They also kept Red Star with some very low stats of their own, only attempting three shots, with two being on target.
Of course, the kind of numbers you’d expect from this Manchester City side.
It wasn’t a perfect night for the team; they found it quite difficult in front of goal and weren’t up to their usual clinical standards.
But, they turned the game around and got full points, which to me, shows this team does have what it takes to go far again.
Yes, they’ll need improved performances next time around, if they truly want to be candidates for the title again, but I feel as that will naturally just happen when the time comes.
Most importantly, what a team needs to conquer Europe is; fight, determination, passion, and a never-giving-up attitude, which I think Man City showed us last night.
This team has a lot of expectations circling them for this season, with the previous one being so unbelievably perfect for them, that spectators automatically expect much more from them.
Pep has spoken about his ambition for his team to do the impressive back-to-back, which he shortly summed up as ” At least try it and give it a go. It happens Okay, if not, we qualify for next season and try again.”
Despite City having to really fight for their points yesterday, it doesn’t really show any signs of concern, honestly. They got the job done, and that’s what gets teams forward in these competitions.
Next in the Champions League, it’s Leipzig, and surely both teams will want those three points. We all know what an exciting game that will be if the previous ones are anything to go by.
But before then, it’s back to the Premier League on Saturday, 23rd September, where Nottingham Forest will be the next task that City must complete.