City 3 - 1 Barcelona - Post match thread :-)

sir baconface

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20 May 2012
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Not in my lifetime.
+1

I wasn't actually sure if Sterling was stepped on - hard to tell even looking at the replay. That said, I thought it was a clear foul and that the defender at least tripped Sterling with his leg.

Sterling exaggerated the contact and the ref didn't have a clear view of the play - this lead to a yellow card against Sterling. Extremely harsh and a total miscall.

Sometimes exaggeration works out - forces the ref to make a call - sometimes not.

Should have been a penalty but if players want to cheat or exaggerate, they can't complain too much when it backfires. Shit decision though.
 

Cityisland

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6 Jan 2009
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Lee Bradbury's home town.
Misses our third as thee stream on kodi dropped out.

Had my nine year old daughter sat on the sofa with her fingers, arms, legs, toes, eyes and hair crossed praying that we were still ahead when I got it up and running again.

Jumped around like a loon to see us casually stoking it about with a 3.1 scoreline. Delicious.

Lucky charm.
 

ChicagoBlue

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One of the things that impressed me most was the fact we went longer and more direct especially second half, its good that we can change that way, as there will be games we will need it.

Pep realized that MSN were not going to help out the midfield much, so the long ball and winning the SECOND BALL IN MIDFIELD would help us keep the pressure off us in and around our own box, while helping us have a constructive starting position of 30-50 yds from their goal. There were times when we not only overloaded them in midfield, but we then surged forward with enough players to overload their defence, too.

I think it has been a VERY long time since anyone has had as many realistic goal scoring opportunities against Barca as City had in that second half.
 

feedmpenzaandhewillscore

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Pep realized that MSN were not going to help out the midfield much, so the long ball and winning the SECOND BALL IN MIDFIELD would help us keep the pressure off us in and around our own box, while helping us have a constructive starting position of 30-50 yds from their goal. There were times when we not only overloaded them in midfield, but we then surged forward with enough players to overload their defence, too.

I think it has been a VERY long time since anyone has had as many realistic goal scoring opportunities against Barca as City had in that second half.

Shows a bit of tactical naivety from Enrique, should have sacrificed one of Messi,Neymar or Suarez to sure up the impending tide that came in the second half.

We have had a resurgence of form going back to two full backs, I really don't think 3 at the back works. I hope Pep realises this and keeps it going.
 

the_game_161

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Think Barca without pique and iniesta have big holes in their defence and midfield without those. They are the glue that team needs. MSN are their best players but those two are huge to control the midfield
 

Nelinho

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952
A couple of comments:

Some people in the media are sort of playing down Tuesday’s performance / victory, emphasizing on the “weakened Barcelona” factor. Which is also convenient for rival fans. However:
  • Barca paid serious money to get Digne (who is not considered as "their Maffeo"),
  • The same applies for Umtiti.

Both were brought in as first team options. What you or I believe regarding their actual abilities is irrelevant, they both were Barcelona’s choices in the summer transfer window (where the club was pretty active), Enrique intends to use them both in the framework of a rotation policy (for a start).
  • As for Iniesta, I have already talked about possible complications regarding players having participated in the recent EURO in my first post. Iniesta missed the first matches, was carefully incorporated in the team (or that’s what they thought anyway), got injured in the process. Have seen this happen on similar cases, it’s not unusual. Apart from that, Barcelona will eventually have to get used to playing without him (same way they did with Xavi). They know that, which is exactly the reason they also invested in midfield, in players such as A. Gomez, D. Suarez (Arda was already there) etc.

So this “weakened side” nonsense does not qualify as an excuse, it simply does not connect with any reality. In fact, if you mentioned it to a Barca official, a member of their technical staff, never mind Enrique himself, they would take it as an insult…

On the other hand, nobody seems to give enough credit to a manager who has trusted from day 1 in people like Stones, Otamendi or Kolarov in central defense, for example. An area extremely sensitive for the team’s balance, an area where City still miss Company. Transforming a 21yo into a leading figure from the beginning, identifying in Kolarov abilities the player himself wasn’t aware of, making Otamendi consistently overachieving (I’ll say it again, you can watch recent performances of his with the national team, playing alongside Funes Mori, for example; we are talking about a different player under Guardiola). We’ve all got familiar with this situation, we take it for granted. Would these players be the choices of an Anceloti, a Conte or a Murinho? Seriously doubt it…


A historic victory on Tuesday, the kind of “stuff dreams are made of”. This is why the CL is important, this is why ignoring it is out of the question, this is why Tuesday and Wednesday nights have become so special. A victory enhancing the club’s status, pushing you to a higher level, making people happy, proud of their team, attracting new fans…

As for the match, Guardiola faced again serious difficulties with his initial game plan. Team was pretty nervous to respond successfully to their pressing, giving the ball away easily. While build up from behind seemed almost impossible, with KDB, for example, failing to move so as to provide a passing option, lost out wide, totally out of the game. On the other hand, City’s high pressing, with Gudogan – Silva moving high up, left huge spaces uncovered in midfield – and Fernadinho exposed. Barca would eventually find their way through and establish their passing game, either start organizing attacks or simply maintain possession. Which made Guardiola’s players more and more uncomfortable…

City could -and should- have scored first, they were robbed of a clear penalty, and had they done so the match would have taken a different direction. Nevertheless it’s better to focus on areas needing improvement here, and 1st half made it clear that the team needs to further progress so as to dominate with its game at the highest level…

We lost total control for a 5-7 min. period after 30’, when Barca came repeatedly close to 0-2. We somehow survived the nightmare, but most importantly never gave up. It is the attitude I will never forget regarding this match. Opponent has taken the lead, ref protects him, game plan seems not to work, Barca seem ready to score the 2nd at any minute and kill the match. Still, the team refuses to accept defeat! And when the opportunity occured, everybody involved in the play was ready to make the most out of it: Pressing finally forces a fatal error, Sergio finds Sterling in space in the box who sets up Gudogan for the equalizer: Sterling’s best moment in the match. At last City becomes cynical…

That was on 39’. It is the moment Guardiola orders Silva – KDB to mutually change positions, a wise decision meant to seriously influence the match proceedings. But the momentum had already changed radically (“players realised the bad moment was behind us”, as Pep said afterwards), with City taking the initiative and threatening for a 2nd goal till the end of the 1st half…

Very few would have handled the match the way Guardiola did in the 2nd half. Personally I will admit that his approach didn’t surprise me, nevertheless I couldn’t find anything concrete to comfort my skepticism: it was Barcelona after all, one mistake would make it 1-2. How would, how could the team react again then? Not to mention, a point could have turned out to be valuable, even if the Germans would beat Celtic. You simply don’t lose in Germany and win vs Celtic at home. Gladbach would need to win in the Camp Nous, practically impossible. But the guy is a pure voluntarist, he will force things his way not hesitating to take risks. He didn’t want to lose the momentum, basically he wanted to demonstrate to his players that we’re not afraid of them, that we’re all in for winning…

Naturally, the game went totally mental, Enrique and his players never knew what hit them, they still don’t if you ask me. They’re not used to such aggressiveness, teams are more or less cautious when playing against them, that is if they don’t park the bus. Pace and tension were unbelievable for 45+3 minutes, a chaotic situation on the pitch controlled by Guardiola as much as possible. He kept pressing relentlessly, however the team’s coordination was seriously improved. Gudogan starting beside Fernadinho meant 2 banks of four in short distances with players on the flanks also closing in. Compact in the middle areas, avoiding penetrations centrally, forcing opponent to pass wide so that City’s formation would afford the time to adapt. Defensive line with 100% concentration, anticipating and intercepting. Midfielders + KDB (AM) + Sergio fighting for every ball, ready to execute counter attacks [By the way, how many tackles, how many interceptions, how many 50/50 has Silva won during these 3 months? Could it be more than in his entire career? I would bet so]. Contrary to what Guardiola has been working on for 3 months, the concept here was to actually give them the ball from behind (so as to avoid losing it in the build up process) – press – win it – immediately go on the break – score. Keeping the ball as away as possible from our box, operating in a direct manner when having it…

City started asking questions from 46’, and Barca were caught unprepared. Stealing balls one after another, executing waves of counter attacks. Numerous dangerous situations, it’s a miracle they survived conceding only 3. But balances were extremely delicate, everything could go wrong anytime, one mistake, one unfortunate situation, like the one Stones was involved in 65’ (Gomez finding the bar), and you would be in hell again. Nevertheless, the team never slowed down, never changed the attitude, the determination, the fighting spirit, the sense of sacrifice and unity, with players covering (and playing for) each other, were awesome. I would say moving. Especially after Fernadinho’s exit (60’), one eye was on Gudogan; hoping that he would somehow control his enthusiasm, keeping his position, not leaving Fernando alone. Fuck me, that was never meant to be the case. We kept being brave and daring as nothing had changed. Gudogan followed the counter attack after Aguero (!) took the ball away from Messi just outside the box, was at the right place the right time and scored again: 3-1! City under Guardiola is an experience to watch…

Stats reflect the reality of the match in the 2nd half: around 25’ Barca enjoyed >70% possession, it ended 59%!. Attempts were 13-9 (4-3 on target), distance covered (km) was 111,63 (!) – 105,99. And pass completion 74 – 84%...

This match demonstrated City’s ability on counter attacks, if we could only be more effective in terms of finishing. Against organized defenses (or parked buses) however, we need to improve our creativity so that our possession becomes more effective. We need through balls getting forwards on 1 vs 1 especially against high defensive lines (like the one by KDB on 2’ where Sergio was caught offside), we need higher pace in our passing game, first touch combinational football etc. And we definitely need more goals, we waste too many opportunities. KDB (the fantastic 3rd goal is his creation) and Gudogan reaching top form are expected to be crucial regarding the above, the same applies to Silva (but I have no complaints, the guy’s commitment is amazing). Players able to make City’s game unpredictable to opponents, not to mention their expected contribution in terms of scoring themselves. All this and others (our organization defending set pieces, for example) are expected to improve in time, what worries me short term is our fucking fitness levels. Matches such as the one vs Barca are extremely demanding, yet City have only 3 days to recover for the next PL fixture. I don’t want to repeat myself, but Fernadinho, Silva and Aguero need protection, while Kevin – Gudogan were also exhausted on Tuesday. And the manager’s rotation options regarding certain positions are rather limited …

The team seems focused, disciplined, convinced of the manager’s game plan and style. Players enjoy what they experience. But they are only human…

Anyway, a must win match today. Good luck to Pep and his men.
 

East Level 2

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23 Jul 2013
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Manchester
Of course we beat a weakened team. There's no way on earth City could beat Barcelona.
Or perhaps there's no way on earth the rancid, gibbering, fuck-Muppets in the media would ever give us an ounce of credit.
 

prestonibbo_mcfc

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16 Apr 2010
Messages
20,611
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Preston
A couple of comments:

Some people in the media are sort of playing down Tuesday’s performance / victory, emphasizing on the “weakened Barcelona” factor. Which is also convenient for rival fans. However:
  • Barca paid serious money to get Digne (who is not considered as "their Maffeo"),
  • The same applies for Umtiti.
Both were brought in as first team options. What you or I believe regarding their actual abilities is irrelevant, they both were Barcelona’s choices in the summer transfer window (where the club was pretty active), Enrique intends to use them both in the framework of a rotation policy (for a start).
  • As for Iniesta, I have already talked about possible complications regarding players having participated in the recent EURO in my first post. Iniesta missed the first matches, was carefully incorporated in the team (or that’s what they thought anyway), got injured in the process. Have seen this happen on similar cases, it’s not unusual. Apart from that, Barcelona will eventually have to get used to playing without him (same way they did with Xavi). They know that, which is exactly the reason they also invested in midfield, in players such as A. Gomez, D. Suarez (Arda was already there) etc.

So this “weakened side” nonsense does not qualify as an excuse, it simply does not connect with any reality. In fact, if you mentioned it to a Barca official, a member of their technical staff, never mind Enrique himself, they would take it as an insult…

On the other hand, nobody seems to give enough credit to a manager who has trusted from day 1 in people like Stones, Otamendi or Kolarov in central defense, for example. An area extremely sensitive for the team’s balance, an area where City still miss Company. Transforming a 21yo into a leading figure from the beginning, identifying in Kolarov abilities the player himself wasn’t aware of, making Otamendi consistently overachieving (I’ll say it again, you can watch recent performances of his with the national team, playing alongside Funes Mori, for example; we are talking about a different player under Guardiola). We’ve all got familiar with this situation, we take it for granted. Would these players be the choices of an Anceloti, a Conte or a Murinho? Seriously doubt it…


A historic victory on Tuesday, the kind of “stuff dreams are made of”. This is why the CL is important, this is why ignoring it is out of the question, this is why Tuesday and Wednesday nights have become so special. A victory enhancing the club’s status, pushing you to a higher level, making people happy, proud of their team, attracting new fans…

As for the match, Guardiola faced again serious difficulties with his initial game plan. Team was pretty nervous to respond successfully to their pressing, giving the ball away easily. While build up from behind seemed almost impossible, with KDB, for example, failing to move so as to provide a passing option, lost out wide, totally out of the game. On the other hand, City’s high pressing, with Gudogan – Silva moving high up, left huge spaces uncovered in midfield – and Fernadinho exposed. Barca would eventually find their way through and establish their passing game, either start organizing attacks or simply maintain possession. Which made Guardiola’s players more and more uncomfortable…

City could -and should- have scored first, they were robbed of a clear penalty, and had they done so the match would have taken a different direction. Nevertheless it’s better to focus on areas needing improvement here, and 1st half made it clear that the team needs to further progress so as to dominate with its game at the highest level…

We lost total control for a 5-7 min. period after 30’, when Barca came repeatedly close to 0-2. We somehow survived the nightmare, but most importantly never gave up. It is the attitude I will never forget regarding this match. Opponent has taken the lead, ref protects him, game plan seems not to work, Barca seem ready to score the 2nd at any minute and kill the match. Still, the team refuses to accept defeat! And when the opportunity occured, everybody involved in the play was ready to make the most out of it: Pressing finally forces a fatal error, Sergio finds Sterling in space in the box who sets up Gudogan for the equalizer: Sterling’s best moment in the match. At last City becomes cynical…

That was on 39’. It is the moment Guardiola orders Silva – KDB to mutually change positions, a wise decision meant to seriously influence the match proceedings. But the momentum had already changed radically (“players realised the bad moment was behind us”, as Pep said afterwards), with City taking the initiative and threatening for a 2nd goal till the end of the 1st half…

Very few would have handled the match the way Guardiola did in the 2nd half. Personally I will admit that his approach didn’t surprise me, nevertheless I couldn’t find anything concrete to comfort my skepticism: it was Barcelona after all, one mistake would make it 1-2. How would, how could the team react again then? Not to mention, a point could have turned out to be valuable, even if the Germans would beat Celtic. You simply don’t lose in Germany and win vs Celtic at home. Gladbach would need to win in the Camp Nous, practically impossible. But the guy is a pure voluntarist, he will force things his way not hesitating to take risks. He didn’t want to lose the momentum, basically he wanted to demonstrate to his players that we’re not afraid of them, that we’re all in for winning…

Naturally, the game went totally mental, Enrique and his players never knew what hit them, they still don’t if you ask me. They’re not used to such aggressiveness, teams are more or less cautious when playing against them, that is if they don’t park the bus. Pace and tension were unbelievable for 45+3 minutes, a chaotic situation on the pitch controlled by Guardiola as much as possible. He kept pressing relentlessly, however the team’s coordination was seriously improved. Gudogan starting beside Fernadinho meant 2 banks of four in short distances with players on the flanks also closing in. Compact in the middle areas, avoiding penetrations centrally, forcing opponent to pass wide so that City’s formation would afford the time to adapt. Defensive line with 100% concentration, anticipating and intercepting. Midfielders + KDB (AM) + Sergio fighting for every ball, ready to execute counter attacks [By the way, how many tackles, how many interceptions, how many 50/50 has Silva won during these 3 months? Could it be more than in his entire career? I would bet so]. Contrary to what Guardiola has been working on for 3 months, the concept here was to actually give them the ball from behind (so as to avoid losing it in the build up process) – press – win it – immediately go on the break – score. Keeping the ball as away as possible from our box, operating in a direct manner when having it…

City started asking questions from 46’, and Barca were caught unprepared. Stealing balls one after another, executing waves of counter attacks. Numerous dangerous situations, it’s a miracle they survived conceding only 3. But balances were extremely delicate, everything could go wrong anytime, one mistake, one unfortunate situation, like the one Stones was involved in 65’ (Gomez finding the bar), and you would be in hell again. Nevertheless, the team never slowed down, never changed the attitude, the determination, the fighting spirit, the sense of sacrifice and unity, with players covering (and playing for) each other, were awesome. I would say moving. Especially after Fernadinho’s exit (60’), one eye was on Gudogan; hoping that he would somehow control his enthusiasm, keeping his position, not leaving Fernando alone. Fuck me, that was never meant to be the case. We kept being brave and daring as nothing had changed. Gudogan followed the counter attack after Aguero (!) took the ball away from Messi just outside the box, was at the right place the right time and scored again: 3-1! City under Guardiola is an experience to watch…

Stats reflect the reality of the match in the 2nd half: around 25’ Barca enjoyed >70% possession, it ended 59%!. Attempts were 13-9 (4-3 on target), distance covered (km) was 111,63 (!) – 105,99. And pass completion 74 – 84%...

This match demonstrated City’s ability on counter attacks, if we could only be more effective in terms of finishing. Against organized defenses (or parked buses) however, we need to improve our creativity so that our possession becomes more effective. We need through balls getting forwards on 1 vs 1 especially against high defensive lines (like the one by KDB on 2’ where Sergio was caught offside), we need higher pace in our passing game, first touch combinational football etc. And we definitely need more goals, we waste too many opportunities. KDB (the fantastic 3rd goal is his creation) and Gudogan reaching top form are expected to be crucial regarding the above, the same applies to Silva (but I have no complaints, the guy’s commitment is amazing). Players able to make City’s game unpredictable to opponents, not to mention their expected contribution in terms of scoring themselves. All this and others (our organization defending set pieces, for example) are expected to improve in time, what worries me short term is our fucking fitness levels. Matches such as the one vs Barca are extremely demanding, yet City have only 3 days to recover for the next PL fixture. I don’t want to repeat myself, but Fernadinho, Silva and Aguero need protection, while Kevin – Gudogan were also exhausted on Tuesday. And the manager’s rotation options regarding certain positions are rather limited …

The team seems focused, disciplined, convinced of the manager’s game plan and style. Players enjoy what they experience. But they are only human…

Anyway, a must win match today. Good luck to Pep and his men.

Enjoyed that. Good read.
 

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