On Saturday's match against Hull City, Manchester City took all three points in a Premier League fixture for the first time since their 0-2 win at Sunderland back in early March. Overall, the boys in Sky Blue put on a convincing display, which in turn saw them find the net three times. Despite this, there were still some glaring issues that must be resolved if Pep Guardiola’s side is to compete for the league title next year.
Scoring three goals in a match is not something that the supporters have seen much of throughout this disappointing season. Although the team was more clinical, there were still some golden opportunities that were not pounced upon, with Leroy Sané failing to score a close range strike early on and Nolito disappointing in front of goal after coming on as a substitute.
The first goal came from Hull City’s Ahmed Elmohamady, who tapped the ball past his own goalkeeper to hand the home side a 1-0 lead. This came from a deadly cross from Jesús Navas, who played a fantastic game. While the Spaniard’s time at the club is apparently coming to a conclusion, he could still be useful this season if he maintains some positive form for the rest of the campaign.
City’s second was an ideal Pep Goal. During the build-up leading to Sergio Agüero’s finish, all eleven players had a touch on the ball. The wonderful team effort undoubtedly pleased the Catalan manager as the twenty-pass play started from the back and moved forward until the ball was in the goal.
Fabian Delph impressed yet again in midfield and is proving to fans and his boss that he can have an good impact on the team’s performances. The Englishman was responsible for the third goal, smashing the ball past Eldin Jakupović after receiving it from Raheem Sterling at the edge of the box. Should Delph remain fit, he can be an important player for Guardiola.
Other notable performances are that of David Silva, who made his 300th appearance for the club, and John Stones, who proved once again he is the best defender the club has at the moment. Many would also agree that Sterling was the man of the match as he assisted the second and third goals.
Claudio Bravo was having a seemingly good performance during the majority of the ninety minutes. His distribution was impressive, but at the end of the game he showed yet again that he is better with his feet than his hands. A low shot from Andrea Ranocchia slowly rolled past the line with the Chilean keeper unable to stop a weak effort from the Hull defender.
While the shot could have been stopped earlier with better effort from the City defenders, Bravo still made another mistake, getting his hand to the ball but not being strong enough to stop it from going in. Yet again, the veteran shot-stopper conceded with the opponent's first shot on target. This issue will hopefully be fixed by the seemingly imminent signing of Brazil's Éderson, who has proven his talent between the sticks in Portugal with Benfica.
The 3-1 victory was a mostly positive performance, but there are still tweaks that the manager must make to help the club reach its goals. At this point, they are not fit to compete for titles. There's still a lot of work to do.