City And United Remain Unbeaten After The International Yawn

Posted: September 10, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
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Having seen the Premier League season rudely interrupted when only three games into it’s new beginning, normal service was resumed on Saturday morning with the first game of the day.

This pitched Manchester City against their newly nominated “bogey team” Liverpool at The Etihad.

A win for City would maintain their unbeaten record and take their points tally up to ten. A win for Liverpool would do exactly the same, so a draw was the sensible, even-money bet.

Jürgen Klopp left Philippe Coutinho, arguably Liverpool’s best player, back in Liverpool where he will have watched the game on his smart TV surrounded by friends and cheering on his team mates. Either that or he was watching re-runs of Barcelona games to remind himself of what might have been.

Conversely, Pep Guardiola selected Sergio Agüero, arguably City’s best player, which came as a surprise to many people who thought that he may be left on the bench again.

The first half was entertaining and included a deserved sending off for Sadio Mané, which resulted in Ederson being carried off on a stretcher, and a goal for each of Agüero and Jésus, thus justifying Pep’s selection.

The second half continued in the same vein as the first and it wasn’t long before Agüero laid the third goal on a plate for Jésus. This was followed by a fourth and a fifth from Leroy Sané and that was it, game over, a 5-0 win and City top of the league for a short while at least.

The sending-off of Mané certainly helped City’s cause but one man shouldn’t make such a difference so the feeling is that they would still have won the game, just not quite as comfortably.

Over in Stoke, José Mourinho, never one to shy away from a controversial decision or two, made a couple of straightforward ones for the trip to the Potteries.

Fans favourite Ander Herrera was restored to midfield while Matteo Darmian replaced Daley Blind at left back.

The first half was largely uneventful with United having the majority of possession without doing anything with it. As is usually the case when this is the scenario, the opposition scored the first goal, against the run of play, following defensive mistakes by both Bailly and Jones.

This was just before half time but there was still enough time left for United to equalise when Pogba headed against Rashford and the ball went in the net. So 1-1 at the break and improvement needed in the second half!

The improvement came, but from Stoke and this time it was United who went in front against the run of play when Lukaku scored. This lead lasted five minutes before more terrible defending from Jones gifted a free header to Choupo-Moting.

The game finished 2-2 which was a reasonable and fair result as United certainly did nowhere near enough to win it.

After today’s games City are looking more like contenders than United but that is likely to change several times over the course of the season. Today City were clinical finishers and United simply didn’t create enough and were far too wasteful with the ball.

So it was a good day for the Manchester teams who remain unbeaten. In fact, the only disappointment on the day was the pathetically feeble resistance put up by Everton and Leicester at home to Tottenham and Chelsea, and by Bournemouth away at Arsenal. Handing easy points to these London teams just makes it more difficult for the others!


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