Man City Still Not Hitting Top Gear!


After the fourth week of fixtures in the Premier League only Manchester City have their winning start left intact.

In their sternest test of the season so far, Pep Guardiola’s men gave Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United their first bloody nose of the season. While Antonio Conte’s Chelsea slipped up at Swansea City and that sees Man City sitting by themselves as the league’s leaders.

In the first forty minutes at Old Trafford, we saw what Pep has in mind for his City troops. They stood up to a physically more imposing United team and would continually out pass them and manoeuvre around them.

The always exciting Kevin De Bruyne gave them a valuable early lead in the first fifteen minutes and crucially youngster Kelechi Iheanacho doubled their lead in the thirty-sixth minute with a tap-in. The game would end 2-1 to City.

The stats were again very favourable in Pep’s favour as his side had 60% of the ball, created more chance and had more attempts on goal.

But perhaps worryingly for the rest of the Premier League, this Manchester City side don’t seem to have peaked yet and we could see them improving vastly before they do actually reach their peak!

Against United, they allowed the home side to get back into the game.

A lot of pundits and punters scoffed new signing Claudio Bravo after he dropped a Wayne Rooney free-kick which allowed Zlatan Ibrahimovic to half the deficit. He had a few more anxious moments on his debut and that made for a more nervy second-half than was needed in the away end.

But it’s always folly to judge a player on his debut performance no matter how well or badly he does in it. Bravo was extremely reliable at Barcelona and he kept three clean sheets in his last three games for Chile, as they retained their Copa America title. I have no doubts that once he’s settled in Manchester, Claudio will prove to be just as dependable for his new team and will be the ball playing goalie that Pep has craved for.

It’s also worth noting that star striker Sergio Aguero was missing from the starting line-up in the Manchester derby. We’ve still to see captain Vincent Kompany and new signing Ilkay Gundogan as they continue to recover from injuries. Plus new-boy Leroy Sané only made his debut this past weekend after regaining his fitness.

So City fans probably haven’t seen Guardiola’s best team yet!

In truthfulness in all of City’s fixtures so far this season they’ve allowed the opposition to comeback into the game at certain points. Pep will still be tinkering with his system to try and dominate even greater amounts of games. Remember this squad is still getting their heads around Pep’s tactics and while it has been an impressive start, the feeling must be that things will only improve as they become more assured about their new playing style and tempo.

Obviously a football season is a marathon race and not a sprint. People like Conte and Mourinho will believe that Guardiola’s men will slip up at some point and go through a rough patch that could allow them a chance to catch up and overtake.

That may indeed happen but I believe that there is still much more to come from this Manchester City side and that they could dominate this league for the foreseeable future.

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