Tuesday night of UEFA Champions league perhaps stamped a brilliant vision of prestige and passion In Guardiola‘ glorious European history as his Manchester city sealed a wonderful home win against his beloved and former club, FC Barcelona 3_1. Few would likely imagined an enthusiastic response to their disappointing 4_0 first leg defeat against world’s best side, but this inspirational performance in front of their fans quickly proved their confident to leave behind their frustrating days and instead signaled their capabilities to join title favorites quicker than before.
The presence of magical MSN nearly brought in the sight of fear city’s defense for their delightful skills, crafty interchanges in tied space and neat play that looked on its edge to fire as it was observed by Vincent company in the center of back line, Messi shown a fine footwork to dribble his marker centrally, but his exchange with Suarez to set the final shot was denied by Otamendi right at his path, the Host’s resistance ended in the next occasion.
Iniesta ignited a crafty short passing in the midfield with Rakitic to split city’ pressing line into space before switching to Neymar on the left and Brazilian’s fine darting run was combined with Messi’s slick switch of position that simply exposed Otamendi in striding the ball onto his left gear and firing with his typical composed style into the lower near post. But city’s attacking movements inspired by De Bruyne and Silva rapidly coordinated high tempo play in the advance positions to offer sterling and Aguero the spark crafty combinations out wide to overlap and drifting centrally, eagerly looking to ignite killing pace when Silva and De Bruyne dictating possession, their effort led to equalizer midway through the first half. Under pressure from city players Mathieu failed to engage his attempted wide play across the back line had disjointed pique’s anticipation to cover the sudden gap as Aguero picked it up and turned in the middle and quickly linking with Sterling flying overlap on the right before he sharply switching a precise short wide pass cross for Gundugan to finish it from close range.
The goal regained composure for Guardiola’s side whom considered high pressure and consistent mobility to hit pace in transitions of midfield, breaking Barca build up and denying Iniesta the space to go forward and eventually succeeded to comply with the idea. Sterling dazzling play inside the box that was suspiciously denied their pk in the first half appeared as their hope to find the lead and followed by Englishman attempted shot that went wide. With both sides offering equal possession after interval it was Barca that could restore their lead, Neymar streamed fine counter play to link with Suarez on the left side, Uruguayan neatly dribbled his marker to burst into open Space before setting up Rafinha with a powerful shot from the edge but his effort hit the upper post unluckily and the missed appeared to be their punishment eventually. De Bruyn perfectly bended his centrally free kick to underside of the far post to erupt the stadium into an unbelievable cheer and boosting the winning momentum ultimately, it came when the range of delightful interchanging around the box offered de Bruyn a crucial space and ample vision to turn in a defense_splitting ball combining with Navas excellent overlap run from the right as Spaniard fierce cross for Sterling strangely looked to be failed connecting him on the edge of line, but while diving Sterling directed for Gundugan to brace his second inside six yards and celebrating this sensational victory along with his teammates and of course to the most delight of Pep.
City confirmed their serious title aspiration with this result, they are reaching a pivotal attacking cohesion with partnership of Silva_de Bruyne as versatile and pure lying playmakers in the heart of supreme dimension of three orchestrators across their strikers or in the role of auxiliary lying passers with a dual task of being wing creators to combine with wide men and igniting fluid interchanges to alternate between mid and forward in deep position has vitally elevated their virtue of efficiency, speed and productivity of possession brand.
Gundugan was the hero on the night and this is the evidence of his great journey in his first season. His positional ability and intelligence to track pressing off the ball and when opening as holding central passer just behind their playmakers and even as third attacker in regards of four men midfield offered it most impact. Navas adapted into a winger role with his energetic play and pace, while his pair on the left, Sterling surely possess a delicate skills, vision and explosiveness to ignite dynamic combinations as both outside striker or winger in the formation of attacking trio. The balance of midfield in transition from build up to attack essentially has indicated to mobility of their back line leading by the experienced company to form resilient pressing and winning spaces to free midfielders do far assured their manager with trust to see his team streaming forward comfortably. Reliable tactical strategy, efficient technical capabilities and adapting to consistency will lead city to seek glory in all cylinders this season.