It’s been an amazing few days of football if you’re a Manchester City fan and even though the Blues only took one point from the two games, I’d consider the performances of the Blues to be top class and very encouraging for the challenges to come.
First it was off to Paris for the Champions League game against the club that is reputed to have the best forward line in the game. All three of the big guns, Messi, Mbappe and Neymar played but City had their own great players on show too, so it was a mouth watering prospect. I flew over with a couple of friends and we were booked into an aparthotel near the famous Moulin Rouge, which isn’t in the best part of the City, but the accommodation was fine. We took an evening stroll, sampling the local street cuisine while excitedly anticipating what was to come.
On matchday we hired electric scooters and headed for the Eifel Tower via the L’arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysees. It felt like I was taking my life in my hands as I rattled along the cobbled bike lanes and weaved in and out of the Parisian traffic. It was certainly exhilarating, but the biggest thrills were to come at the Parc de Princes as I watched a magnificent game take place. Over the full 90 minutes I felt City were the better side but the individual brilliance of Lionel Messi, who scored the winner, saw the Parisians come out on top. C’est la Vie I suppose, but I reckon if City played PSG ten times they’d win eight of them and so despite the defeat I headed to Liverpool on Sunday full of confidence.
The Blues dominated the first half, but just like in Paris, they couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. Pep tweeked his formation at the start of the second half, with the so far misfiring Jack Grealish back out on the left which meant Phil Foden was no longer running rings around Liverpool’s stand-in right back James Milner who should already have had a red card for two fouls on the City dynamo.
Liverpool started the second half much stronger and went ahead but the Blues had great mental strength and the qualities they’d shown at Chelsea, the previous week, and in Paris, quickly led to an equaliser as Foden went back out wide. We then witnessed one of the best goals I’ve ever seen. Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah danced through the City defence with footwork Craig Revel Horwood would have awarded a ten to and restored the home side’s lead.
City continued to go toe-to-toe with the Merseysiders and struck back again, levelling the score at 2-2. You can accuse me of being biased but despite Rodri’s goaline clearance I believe City were again the better side. You can read all the statistics you want but after years of watching football I feel I’ve developed an instinct for these things and mine is that what I’ve witnessed in the last few days is a Manchester City side destined to win another Premier League title this season. They’ve played their toughest opponents away from home and outplayed them both, returning with four points out of six.
I’ve also watched a bit of United and they look disjointed and planless by comparison, relying on individual magic to scrape through games. It’s still early in the season but my spider sense is telling me it’s going to be another season of trophies for Pep’s team. Imagine if they complete the signing of Harry Kane during the January transfer window? It’s just a shame we’re not in another International break.
This Friday from 7pm on Tameside Radio you’ll hear me chat to former City striker Uwe Rosler about City, United fan Lee Wild gives his verdict on the Reds and Denton Town manager Phill Cooper talks about what it’s like to run a grassroots football club. That’s 103.6FM this Friday!