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Growing up City

Khaldoon is optimistic about his team.
Khaldoon is optimistic about his team.

Last night's historic Champions League match against Napoli exposed the human side of the new big bad City squad. 

As the players came out to the field to the tune of famous Champions League tune, nerves were on end. The culmination of sweat, blood, and tears before us. 

Vincent Kompany for The Guardian, explained; "It's a special occasion, everything is completely different to what we are used to in the Premier League."

As it should be but in the end, the expectation might have gotten to some of the players. Gareth Barry's back-hell dubbed "stupid" by Mancini ultimately cost them Cavani's opener, and further trouble came up when Kompany, instead of making a routine play, tried to save the ball by returning it to Hart, who had to scramble.  

The front four seemed out of ideas, as lots of passes were completed, and runs made, but no real end product could be seen. Sergio Aguero's stop and pass to Toure could have been the difference, but in the end even this was skied.

Even Edin Dzeko wasn't immune to the heavy air that night. The Bosnian's Champions League track record is indeed impressive, and he showed pace and strength, but a mental error came about when he found himself in the box, surrounded by defenders, and instead of passing it off to Silva for a direct shot, took it himself on the turn, missing the goal completely. 

Mancini explained, "We will do better because it is the second game and we will not be so nervous. This game, we were so nervous – all the players. It surprised me. Maybe it was simply desire, or the pressure to play well, but they need to understand how important it is to play simply and that putting seven or eight players forward doesn't work."

Some of the international sports media has already proclaimed Napoli the underdog that slayed the uppity "wannabes" from Manchester but this wasn't quite the case was it? The match was not at all completely negative for City, particularly in the first half where energy was high, passes were stringing together and the team showed a real determination to prove themselves.  

Credit should also be given to Walter Mazzarri's men who played the classic Italian defend and counter-attack tactic perfectly away from home.

In the end, City fans should not be disappointed in their team. This is after all, only the beginning and there is no doubt this team will only get better. Once all of the pieces starting clicking as they should, particularly on offense, the final product will be there.  

This is the Champions League after all, and City are in it, enjoy it. This message goes both to the fans, and the players.