City still head and shoulders above the rest in Europe


Photo: Stephen Gormley (Red Eye Photo Agency)

The European champions begin the defence of their title with a 3-1 home win over Red Star Belgrade.

City dominated the first half with slick inter play from Foden, Alvarez and Haaland causing lots of problems for the visitors’ defence. However last ditch defending from Red Star defenders throwing their bodies in front of the relentless shot attempts kept the Serbian side in the match.

In the 25th minute Foden floated a beautiful cross over to Haaland who rose high above the Red Star defence to header off the bar. It seemed just a matter of time before City would break the deadlock. However just before half time a break out of nowhere for Red Star saw Bukari put through on goal and he very calmly lashed the ball low and hard past Ederson to make it 1-0. There was a moment of doubt though as the linesman put his flag up for offside but a VAR check confirmed it was fine and the Serbs went in ahead at the break.

City came out for the second half like they meant business. In the 47th minute Haaland timed his reverse pass perfectly to send through Alvarez who put it in from an acute angle to make it 1-1.

Haaland continued to threaten and had a shot from inside the six yard box somehow saved from close range. City were relentless in the second half and got their reward for the dominant display when Alvarez scored his second goal of the evening in the 60th minute from a free kick. The shot deceived Red Star’s keeper Glazer who tried to punch the ball clear when it seemed more sensible just to catch it.

Soon after, City ended the contest with Rodri side footing a beautiful shot to the bottom of the goalkeeper’s left hand corner from 18 years out. Even the Red Star goalkeeper, who was magnificent all night, could not get down quick enough to save it.

Red Star gave it everything on the night but City were relentless and as Pep said after the match “it is easier to defend a title than win it for the first time”. It will take a very special team to stop City on the road to Wembley and their second European title in June next summer.

Follow us on Twitter @ProstInt



About Author

Comments are closed.