Manchester City went to Stoke City and got a result that was more than expected. It was a little bit scrappy at times, and it felt a bit like a “rainy night at Stoke”, even though we won. But City were the better side and did enough to easily win the match.
Here’s what we learned from Monday’s win:
1- David Silva is ageless
El Mago, the wonderful Spaniard and legend of City continues to show that age is before beauty. With two goals and picture perfect passing in tight spaces, Silva dominated the game and was clearly the best player out there, and he’s one of the most underrated players of this past decade and still one of the best players in England. It’s such a joy to watch this guy. He may not get the global recognition at times, but any fan of City knows just how special this little guy is. It’s great that we have him for at least two more years as well. It seems that David Silva is like a fine wine, he just keeps getting better with age.
2 - Pep Guardiola has made Raheem Sterling world-class
Did he skip a beat???? Sterling put out a top class performance like he never missed any time! Forget the fact that he was out of action for almost a month with a muscle injury, Sterling jumped right back into the action and dazzled everyone with his touch, speed and ability to work in tight spaces. That move he put on the three Stoke defenders inside the box, wow, that was special. It should of been our third goal, but it went just over the bar.
Sterling has scored 20 goals in all competitions this season. That is, well, really good for someone who used to be pretty streaky in front of goal. 20 goals for a winger in England, that’s numbers that your top strikers are putting up. We have to credit Pep Guardiola for this, who seems to be getting the best out of Sterling every week. Raheem always had the potential to be a lethal player due to his pace, but his first touch, footwork and goal-scoring abilities have all improved tremendously since Pep has arrived, especially in this second season.
3 - Nothing can stop Manchester City, not even a rainy night at Stoke
Stoke were relying a bit on their magic, hoping that their past success against top 6 teams would carry into the match on Monday. And to their credit, I thought that they set up well enough to get a result. Even though City were the better side, and clearly deserved to win, Stoke managed to turn the match into a classic scrappy English fixture, where it could have easily been a 1-1 draw instead of a two-goal loss.
City did dominate possession, but the match did have that “rainy night at Stoke” feeling, and at times, it was a bit cagey. With only a 1-0 deficit at halftime, Stoke were still very much in this match and they probably felt good about their chances of getting a goal. But nothing is stopping the Manchester City train. City managed to get that much needed second goal early in the second half and continued their relentless possession of the ball. The second half seemed very scrappy, and while it wasn’t pretty, City did enough to get the result.
It is inevitable that Manchester City are going to win the title. It’s become pretty much impossible for them to lose it at this point. Teams have thrown everything they can at City, but Pep’s side is clearly the best in England this year. Monday’s result was scrappy, but simply routine. Thanks to El Mago and Sterling, City were able to walk out of a challenging bet365 Stadium with all three points. City can now rest and heal with no fixtures for almost three weeks, and get ready for what will surely be a very tough Champions League quarter-final.