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Manchester City 2-1 Bristol City: 3 Things We Learned

City won the first leg but there are lessons to be learned.

Manchester City v Bristol City - Carabao Cup Semi-Final: First Leg Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

1 - Sterling does not work as a number nine

With no recognized striker on the pitch, the number nine duties fell to Raheem Sterling but he seemed to struggle in this role. In the first half, the Bristol City defenders had not problem muscling him off the ball and he frequently made the wrong decision when it came to the final pass.

In the second half he improved but that was only by coming deeper to receive the ball. With the introduction of Sergio Agüero, Sterling could move wide again and was given more space. On his natural position he showed signs of the player he actually is, not the player he was in the first half.

2 - Mangala is not good enough for this level

Every time Eliaquim Mangala received the ball, it was a worry for City. He looked very, very, very, very uncomfortable with Bristol City’s high press and his indecision on the ball led to a John Stones penalty and Bristol’s lone goal.

If Mangala starts at the weekend, it will be a field day for Liverpool’s front three. Thankfully we’ll have Nicolas Otamendi ready to play.

3 - Bristol may have provided the blueprint for Jürgen Klopp

The players will change, but Bristol showed a way to get at this City team. Press high, quickly and organised so that you can force the defenders into mistakes. With the pace of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino up top, Liverpool can be even more dangerous than Bristol were and it poses a very real threat to Pep Guardiola’s team.