September was a busy month for the blues, with four Premier League matches, one League Cup tie and a Champions League clash, with an international break thrown in for good measure. Here we have a recap other the last month.
City 2-1 Newcastle
The blues entertained Newcastle at home on the first day of the month. This fixture has usually brought a few goals from the blues in recent seasons, however it was a different story this time at the Etihad. The blues still won, but were made to work hard by a determined and resolute Newcastle, who were still looking for their first win of the season.
It looked like another goal-fest was on the cards when Raheem Sterling gave City the lead after just 8 minutes. But sometimes, City just like to give us a glimpse of their former selves and allowed Newcastle to get back into the match despite missing some good chances to put some daylight between them and the visitors. DeAndre Yedlin equalised on 30 minutes with their first, and only shot of the game.
Thankfully, the blues seem to carve out a win more often than not, although the winner came from an unlikely source. From 30 yards out, Kyle Walker hit a screamer to give the blues the points and keep pace with leaders Liverpool, who had won 2-1 at Leicester earlier that day, and Chelsea, who beat Bournemouth 2-0.
The international break followed that match, meaning the blues didn’t play again until 15th September, although a number of blues played in the new UEFA League of Nations, while those players into from Europe faced international friendlies.
Manchester City 3-0 Fulham
New boys Fulham were the visitors to Etihad Stadium and were easily put to the sword. Leroy Sane, who had been coming under fire from international teammates, opened the scoring while Fulham were still in the dressing room. David Silva made it 2-0 on 21 minutes and the blues looked like they would better the 6-1 scoreline they recorded against Huddersfield in August.
Raheem Sterling finished off the scoring two minutes after the restart, and the blues missed a whole host of chances to rack up the goals tally. After the match, manager Pep Guardiola praised Germany winger Sane for his performance. “We never had doubts about Leroy’s quality. He shows us many times in the last season and today he played again so good. We cannot forget sometimes this kind of thing happens, he is 21, 22. Sometimes he has to realise what, like a professional, he has to do. I am delighted for his performance and so confident.”
Manchester City 1-2 Lyon
The less said about this game the better to be honest. City’s first game in this season’s Champions League ended in a woeful defeat after a performance that left many scratching their heads, wondering where the hell they dug it up from.
The blues were 2-0 down by half time, and despite Bernardo Silva pulling a goal back with 23 minutes remaining, the blues just couldn’t seem to muster an equaliser.
At best, it was an abject performance and probably the worst seen by the fans since Guardioala’s arrival. The manager himself watched the match from the stands as he served a touchline ban following his “unhappiness” with the officials in last season’s quarter final. One CL game in, five to go but the media’s ‘crisis’ button had been pressed, and Saturday’s match at Cardiff was apparently quite crucial, according to some.
Cardiff 0-5 Manchester City
If there was ever a match that was needed to cure a Champions League hangover, Cardiff away provided it. The Bluebirds were yet to win a match, while City had dropped points once all season in the league. The last time these two met ended in a surprise 3-2 win for the home side, but the bleus ensured that wouldn’t happen again.
Sergio Aguero, a surviving member of the team that lost on that day in August 2014, opened the scoring on 32 minutes, and when Bernardo Silva made it 2-0 three minutes later, the blues looked set to rack up a big scoreline. Ilkay Gundogan made it 3-0 just before the interval to press home City’s dominance.
The second half turned into the Riyad Mahrez show, with the Algerian bagging his first two goals for the club. Mahrez was receiving a fair bit of criticism from the fans and pundits alike, but soon put an end to it by converting Gundogan’s inch perfect pass on 67 minutes, before making it 5-0 in the last minute. The result put City into second place in the league breathing down the necks of leaders Liverpool.
Oxford United 0-3 Manchester City
The blues began their defence of the League Cup when they faced Oxford United. City made ten changes, but still fielded a very strong line-up, which included youngster Phil Foden. And the Stockport born lad wouldn’t disappoint.
Foden had a hand in the first goal, his 40 yard pass finding Brahim Diaz, whose cross was eventually turned into the Oxford goal by Gabriel Jesus with just nine minutes to half time. Foden claimed his first assist of the season when his glorious left foot diagonal ball found Riyad Mahrez, who hammered home for his third goal in two games, before Foden himself got on the scoresheet. Two minutes into injury time, Foden’s low drive beat the keeper to record his first goal for the club he supported as a kid.
His performance left many purring, with Oxford manager Karl Robinson likening the youngster to Spain legend Andres Iniesta. And while Guardiola played down the comparison, he must be delighted to see such a performance from an academy player.
Manchester City 2-0 Brighton
With Liverpool and Chelsea meeting each other at Stamford bridge in the late kick-off, it was a golden opportunity for the blues to hit the top spot. And it was a chance they didn’t pass up on, although Brighton’s defensive set-up did make it somewhat difficult.
But Raheem Sterling found a way through on 29 minutes, sliding home Leroy Sane’s cross following a swift counter-attack. At 1-0, there’s always the possibility the visitors would get back into the match, however Sergio Aguero’s goal on 65 minutes secured the points and top spot in the league without barely getting out of second gear.
And the result was made even sweeter as Liverpool drew 1-1 at Chelsea to keep the blues top on goal difference, which could once again prove to be crucial at the end of the season.