After several fixtures filled with frustration, red cards and disappointment, Manchester City have finally beaten Barcelona. The clash was simply beautiful to watch, with world-class performances at every corner of the pitch. A stunning free-kick from Kevin De Bruyne and another double from Ilkay Gundogan saw City pick up a 3-1 win. So what does this mean for the Sky Blues?
This match exhibited exactly what Pep Guardiola can do. His tactics were spot on, and his in-game management was flawless. City’s high press was simply too much for Barcelona to handle as they were given a taste of their own medicine. Could Pep’s philosophy have already clicked with the players? The next few matches will tell for sure, however this showing was nothing short of outstanding. This also shows that City can compete with the best in the world, as they often struggled to do so under Pellegrini.
Individually, many players proved themselves out there. Pablo Zabaleta impressed the home supporters, showing that he can still be an important player to City. De Bruyne and Gundogan found the net while bossing the midfield at the same time, and although he did not score, Sergio Agüero’s hold-up play and passing was awe-inspiring. Willy Caballero deserves praise as well, as he made some crucial saves to keep his side in the competition.
All of this means that the new manager’s style is starting to settle in at Manchester City and that they are ready to compete with the best clubs in the world. They will hope to retain their form for the length of the tournament to have a chance at lifting the Champions League trophy.