It’s been a fantastic week for both Manchester City men’s and women’s teams. Despite the men remaining five points behind Liverpool, they answered their critics with aplomb on Saturday afternoon, to match the solid start they made in the Champions League. And the Women’s team followed suit by beating Leicester 5-0 in the Intercontinental Cup on Sunday.
Following defeat at Norwich, in which the men looked completely out of sorts, John Stones was then ruled out for 5-6 weeks with a muscle injury picked up in training. Critics suggested that City’s would struggle with just one recognised centre back, who always seems to have a mistake in him. That was evident against Norwich, but was paired with City’s Mr Versatile in Fernandinho.
Manager Pep Guardiola stated the Brazilian had been training as a centre back since the summer, and Ferna looked solid and composed at the back, despite not having an awful lot to do. It was the third time in three seasons the blues faced the Ukraine outfit, and they once again came out on top with a 3-0 victory.
It was a solid performance for the blues in what was billed as their most difficult group match, although a trip to Zagreb for the first time may prove a more difficult task. But the main is that City began to put the misery of the weekend game behind them.
Watford Destroyed Again
What is it about playing Watford? Not only did we beat them 6-0 in the FA Cup Final, and 6-0 and 5-0 at Vicarage Road, but for some reason we just can’t stop scoring against them. Nobody expected the blues to hit eight on Saturday as the blues became the first team to score and concede eight goals in the Premier League.
You can feel some degree of sympathy for Watford though; City were there once, propping up the table and getting thrashed at the top clubs, but sympathy can only go so far. Watford pretty much gave up after the first goal, despite having a chance to immediately equalise. While City were making all the running, delivering ball after ball into the box, Watford took the game at walking pace and were rightly punished. With more ruthless finishing in front of goal, it’s no exaggeration that the blues could have been well into double figures by full time.
City will face tougher opponents in the coming weeks and months, but if they can continue with the determination they showed on Saturday, the hunger to win the ball back despite being 6-0 or 7-0 up, there will be less results like the Norwich match.
Women Follow Men’s Example
Manchester City’s women’s team are the current holders of the League Cup an they started their defence of that title with a 5-0 thrashing of Leicester City. Pauline Bremer, the hero at Reading last week, added another brace to go with the brace from Caroline Weir.
Bremer has now scored five goals already this season, and with new signing Ellen White still yet to make an appearance, the future is looking bright for City’s girls.
But what will be interesting is what team manager Nick Cushing puts out for the Champions League second leg when Lugano come to Manchester. The blues won the first leg 7-1 in Switzerland, so Cushing may be tempted to make some more changes to the line-up than he did for the match against Leicester.
The men’s team begin their defence of the League Cup at Preston on Tuesday. City will be hoping the boys in blue can make it a hat-trick of League Cups, having won the trophy in each of the last two seasons.
The women host Lugano on Wednesday night in the Champions League, defending a 7-1 lead from the first leg before an Everton double bill at the weekend. The men are in action again on Saturday as they travel to Everton for an evening kick off, then the women face the Toffee’s on Sunday lunchtime.