The first month of the football season ended with the blues sitting in second in the league, but just two points behind leaders Liverpool.
As champions, the blues took part in the season curtain raiser at Wembley when they faced FA Cup winners Chelsea in the community shield. The match was probably more important to Chelsea than it was to City, particularly since the London outfit replaced their manager and made some considerable changes to their squad. The blues meanwhile, made one major addition to their squad in the form of Riyad Mahrez.
City left Ederson, Kompany, Gundogan, Otamendi and Jesus on the bench alongside Diaz and Gomez, while Sterling, de Bruyne and David Silva were all absent. However, the blues still had a strong enough starting eleven to waltz past their opponents. In the 13th minute, Phil Foden surged forward to set up Aguero, who buried his 200th goal for the blues to give City the lead. In the second half, Aguero struck again, latching onto Bernardo Silva’s pass to fire past Cabellero in the Chelsea goal.
It finished 2-0 and was a clear statement against one of their main rivals. The blues were sleek, sharp and looked strong and ready for their season opener at Arsenal. The Gunners also had a new manager in place following Arsene Wenger’s summer departure and their team were eager to impress their new manager.
But it was to be no fairytale beginning for Unai Emery as the blues cruised to a 2-0 opening day victory. Raheem Sterling returned to the side and scored within 14 minutes as City carried on for where they left off last season. The blues, who won a league Arsenal for only the second time since the 1970’s last season, went on to increase the lead when Bernardo Silva hammered home from Mendy’s assist. It was a deserved win for City, who could have won by a bigger margin, and left manager Pep Guardiola promising there was more to come from his side.
The blues welcomed Huddersfield to the Etihad for the first home game of the season, and the match was marred by a training ground injury to Kevin de Bruyne earlier in the week. It would later be confirmed the Belgian assist king would be out for 2-3 months,a major blow for the bleus so early on. Prior to the match, it was well documented that the blues were held to a goalless draw by the Terriers in last season’s corresponding fixture. There would be no such repeat of that scoreline, although it did take 25 minutes for the blues to make the breakthrough.
Sergio Aguero was the man again to open the scoring, which was followed six minutes later when Gabriel Jesus got his first of the season. Four minutes later, the floodgates had well and truly opened as Aguero grabbed his second and City’s third, before Town pulled one back two minutes from half time. Huddersfield entered damage limitation time in the second have, but couldn’t stop David’s Silva’s free-kick from finding the back of the net three minutes after the break. Aguero completed his hat-trick on 75 minutes, just as he was about to be taken off. For the blues record goal scorer, it was his ninth Premier League hat-trick, and is now just two away from levelling Alan Shearer’s all-time record. The blues finished the rout when Huddersfield defender Kongolo scored an own goal to give City their biggest win of the season so far after just two games.
With Liverpool not playing until Monday, City topped the table with six points from six and a goal difference of 7, three more than Chelsea’s 4. Liverpool’s win at Crystal Palace would see City drop down the table.
The last game of the month saw the blues at Wolves and their most difficult match so far. The home side were the first team to stop the blues from scoring when they held City to a 0-0 draw in the League Cup, before losing on penalties. And it was the new boys who took the lead in controversial circumstances.
Willy Boly’s attempted diving header failed, but the ball clearly hit his hand and diverted into the goal to send the home fans into raptures. The blues equalised 12 minutes later when Aymeric Laporte thumped home a header to save a point for City. The blues hit the woodwork twice in the first half, the Wolves keeper made some excellent saves and David Silva had a penalty appeal turned down as City dropped points for the first time.
It was a deserved point for the home side, who showed tremendous spirit to stand toe to toe with the blues, and show that their place in the Premier League is well deserved.
September will no doubt prove to be more challenging, with the blues embarking on League Cup and Champions League action, as well as an international break coming up this weekend.