In a day that will be remembered for one of the greatest comebacks in Champions League history (Barcelona 6-1 PSG), Manchester City fans had to sit through a very uneventful 90 minutes of 0-0 football.
Stoke City held their own on this game, and they came out with the first chance in the sixth minute. Mame Diouf tried to get his foot on a low cross into the box, but his touch went straight to Willy Caballero.
City came out slow, and it really showed in the first half. Their only shot on target came when Aleksandar Kolarov hit a long free kick towards goal, and it got an easy save out of Lee Grant.
City turned it on a bit in the second half, but they were poor at finishing and never came up with the winner. David Silva just missed the goal frame from a strike on the edge of the box in the 72nd minute, and Kelechi Iheanacho wasted the biggest chance of the game: from the edge of the six-yard box, he tried to hit a first-time volley from an over-the-top through ball, buthe scuffed it just wide of the post.
The Citizens were just inefficient, and the 0-0 scoreline is a fair representation of the match. Here’s a look at the action from a City fan’s perspective.
The defense was really the only bright spot from the City team. They held the clean sheet, and orchestrated the tiny bit of press from the back.
The wing-backs, Gaël Clichy and Bacary Sagna, have shown good form in recent weeks, and this game was no exception. They had one key pass each, over 80% passing accuracy, and combined to make eight tackles (six for Clichy, two for Sagna).
Although I said I would prefer Aleksandar Kolarov at the left-back spot, he actually played well against Sunderland last weekend, and did the same against Stoke from the center-back spot. Nicolas Otamendi also had a decent performance after resting in the Sunderland match, as he won three aerial duels against the Potters.
City’s defense got the job done, and at least they held the clean sheet to give the Sky Blues one point.
The midfield was not as fluent as we saw in previous weeks, even though Fernandinho played amazing as a holding midfielder, covering the entire pitch with defensive and attacking duties.
Apart from Dinho, though, the rest was poor. Yaya Touré did not look as comfortable in a more attacking role, Leroy Sané never produced a big chance, and David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne's production never churned out results.
Now, you might be wondering why there’s no attack headline, and that’s because there wasn’t any.
City have some of the world’s best attacking talent, and most people would expect them to score a goal, or at least get more than one shot on target. If you’re one of these people, then you were left disappointed. Sergio Agüero and Iheanacho were not clinical nor creative, and the entire attack couldn’t penetrate Stoke’s defense.
If only we could watch one of the best comebacks ever instead of this boring crap...