Photo: Virginie Lefour / Belga Mag / AFP / Getty Images
The Manchester City he drove away the ghosts that came with the defeat against PSG and crushed Bruges in a match that he dominated from start to finish and in which Pep Guardiola’s men showed off a total football (1-5).
The meeting was a Manchester City monologue, a show in which the Brujas footballers acted as extras. With the loss of Spanish international Ferran Torres due to injury, Guardiola put youth squad Phil Foden as a center forward, who regularly plays in midfield.
That on paper, because on the field of play Foden moved up and down like a free player, without a fixed position, and the weight of the attack was distributed among the ten field players. To show two buttons: the first and third goals were scored by two full-backs, Joao Cancelo and Kyle Walker.
The first goal fell after half an hour thanks to a play born in Foden’s boots, who dressed as a defensive midfielder to launch a spectacular aerial pass in the direction of Joao Cancelo. The Portuguese left-back broke the defensive line, held the charge of Kamal Sowah and beat Simon Mignolet down.
Brugge wanted to react in the following minutes with more heart than head, because at no time did they intimidate the City goalkeeper, and at the end of the break Stanley Nsoki made an unforced error that was very expensive. The Frenchman threw himself late at a ball that he did not reach, taking ahead of Riyad Mahrez within the area.
The Algerian forward himself transformed the maximum penalty by deceiving the Belgian goalkeeper with a shot from the left.
In the 53rd minute, De Bruyne gave a pen pass to Kyle Walker and the right-back finished the play with a cross shot that ended up in the back of the net.
Guardiola made his Champions League debut Cole Palmer, also introduced Sterling and both players fulfilled their role on City’s next occasion. Sterling started down the left, passed the ball to Parler and the 19-year-old scored from the edge of the area.
It wasn’t until 0-4 that City relaxed and Bruges were finally able to show some of the courage they had shown in the first two days of the Champions League.
A chopped header from De Ketelaere put Ederson to work, but the goalkeeper was unable to prevent a goal from Hans Vanaken, which he finished off from a penalty spot completely alone.
Guardiola’s men responded to Brugge’s consolation goal with a goal from Mahrez, taking advantage of the fact that the defense was stuck trying to knock him offside. A final punch on the table to make it clear who was the boss of the night at the Jan Breydel stadium in Bruges.
Awaiting tonight’s game between PSG and Leipzig, City are leading the group with six points and Brugge remains third with four.
- Brujas: Mignolet; Sobol, Hendry, Clinton Mata; Nsoki (m.79: Mechele), Rits (m. 56: Vormer), Balanta (m. 68: Mbamba-Muanda), Vanaken, Sowah (m. 56: Van der Brempt); De Ketelaere (m.79: Dot) y Lang.
- Manchester City: Ederson; Joao Cancelo, Laporte (d. 56: Aké), Rubén Dias, Walker; De Bruyne (d. 64: Palmer), Rodri (d. 71: Fernandinho), Bernardo Silva (d. 56: Gundogan), Grealish, Foden (d. 64: Sterling) and Mahrez.
Goals: 0-1, m. 30: Joao Cancelo. 0-2, m. 43: Mahrez, from the penalty spot. 0-3, m. 53: Walker. 0-4, m.67: Palmer. 1-4, m.81: Vanaken. 1-5: Mahrez.
Referee: Istvan Kovacs (Romania). He showed a yellow card to Mata, Nsoki and Balanta, from Bruges, and Laporte, from Manchester City.
Incidents: Match corresponding to the third day of group A of the Champions League played at the Jan Breydel stadium, in the Belgian city of Bruges.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.