Manchester City had a very successful start to their new Champions League journey with a 4-0 win over Feyenoord in the group stage opener. The Blues went on the road and imposed their style of play on the Dutch champions, establishing their dominance early and getting a huge victory to top Group F.
Here are a few takeaways from what we saw at De Kuip.
1 - Bernardo Silva needs time
The Portuguese midfielder is an amazingly talented footballer with a giant future, and we’ve already seen glimpses of his capabilities since joining City. But it was clear on Wednesday that Bernardo needs time to adapt and develop. The young man had a very simple job at AS Monaco: get the ball on the right flank, dribble past players and find the strikers on the box with his passing ability.
At City, Bernardo needs to play a much more complex system that requires him to move around the pitch and place himself in different zones of the attacking third to become a option, receive the ball and then find someone else making a run. He made some poor decisions and easily lost possession in midfield during the first half, but after the interval and possibly a conversation with Pep Guardiola, he looked a lot more composed in the second half and nearly found Leroy Sané for a goal late in the second half.
We’ll all look stupid in a few months when Bernardo is tearing defenses apart with his pace, skill and passing, but for now it’s clear he needs those few months to become the world-class player he can be.
2 - Manchester City are becoming a scary team
If the Liverpool performance was somewhat effected by Sadio Mané’s red card (although that moment is being overplayed by everyone), there are no reasons to discount City’s performance against Feyenoord. Many people are saying “oh, it’s just Feyenoord”, but this is the same team that beat Manchester United in the Europa League a year ago in the same stadium.
City imposed their style from the very first moment of the game and completely dominated the entire match. Wednesday’s performance is right up there with the best in the Pep Guardiola Era at City, and the prospect of what this team could be once the new signings fully adapt to the site is truly scary. The Blues are looking better and better with every new performance, and it’s hard for Pep to downplay the excitement from the last few games. The Blues look good, and they’ll be even stronger.
3 - Éderson Moraes is a great signing
The Brazilian showed resilience and professionalism to come back to action just four days after that horrific clash with Mané when Guardiola would be happy to give him a day off without any problems, and he was once again fantastic in goal. He only had to make one save throughout the whole game, but his distribution was insane. Éderson complete EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HIS 30 PASSES, including three long ones.
Éderson showed his shot-stopping power against Liverpool and his passing magic against Feyenoord, and he’s looking like a complete goalkeeper and a fantastic signing. Hopefully he gets even better, and more importantly, hopefully he takes off that helmet. It doesn’t look great.