Champions League matchday 1

Man City and Man United took on the pitch today for the first day of the Champions League. Both English clubs were favorites for their respective game, but the results did not end as it was expected.

Man City have questions to answer

Coach Pep Guadiola was suspended for this match against French side Lyon. But the interim coach for the night, Arteta, could not expect such a dull performance from his team, in the first half, going down two goals at the break [0-2].

The Citizens made some offensive changes in the second but were only able to score a goal for a final 1-2 result. Man City will need to bounce back quickly as they look to win the club’s biggest trophy this season.

Coach Arteta on the loss:

“We started slowly, and we were inconsistent in the way we wanted to play. We lost too many duels and the ball away in difficult circumstances. They scored twice, but after that, the reaction from the lads was superb.

To control situations better we tweaked a few things and we created chances, but at this level, it wasn’t enough. 

We were very aware of Lyon’s strengths and weaknesses. We were well prepared but not prepared to be 2-0 down at the break, but you have to react.

There is zero margin for errors in the Champions League – you make a mistake and you are punished. If you don’t win duels, play simple balls, you will suffer – today was another example of that.

Sometimes a new competition you have to get on track. The start wasn’t good. We didn’t feel the flow around the team.We missed the right pass and didn’t find consistency. Every time we lost the ball we felt under threat e, that can bring the confidence lower.

We were ready for the game, keen to start to Champions League because the way we ended it last season really hurt.”

Pogba has been the man for United

Following his World Cup success with France, Paul Pogba seemed to have reached another level of consistency on the pitch and in the locker room. Once again he took responsibilities by being everywhere during the first half scoring the first two goals for the Red Devils [0-2] at the break.

The performance delighted Man United coach, Jose Mourinho:

“To increase the pace, keep the possession and just keep control of the tempo [he is there]. Of course he scored a very good goal and the penalty showed personality, because when you miss a penalty you have doubts about taking the next one, but there were no doubts for him.”

I’m happy. I can understand the reasons why we didn’t start well, why we took 25 minutes to be in control, I can see why Young Boys forced it a little in the beginning. They did the same against Dinamo Zagreb too.

They know how difficult it is for opponents on this pitch, so they forced it a little and created problems. The goal changed this and then we were in control. It’s important to start with a victory.”